New Illinois Laws In 2023: One Sparked by Naperville Students

Picture of the Illinois capitol building. Image credit to IStock.
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A number of new Illinois laws will be introduced throughout the state on Sunday, January 1, 2023; one of which, Naperville elementary students had a hand in creating. 

In total, there are over 180 new laws that will take effect in the new year Here are five of note. 

Minimum Wage Increase:

The current minimum wage sits at $12 an hour and will move up to $13 per hour on January 1, 2023. The minimum wage will go up $1 each year on the first of January, until 2025 when it reaches $15 per hour, thanks to legislation signed by Governor J.B. Pritzker in 2019.

For workers who earn regular tips, the minimum wage will increase from $7.20 per hour to $7.80. Those who are under the age of 18 and work less than 650 hours per year will see their hourly wage go up from $9.50 to, $10.50, which will also increase gradually to $13 in 2025.

According to the Economic Policy Institute, an expected 510,400 workers in Illinois will be affected by the state’s minimum wage increase.

Elimination of Cash Bail

Cash bail will be eliminated in a number of Illinois counties as of January 1, but whether that edict will take effect statewide is currently hazy.

On Thursday, December 29, a Kankakee judge ruled that parts of the Pre-Trial Fairness Act are unconstitutional, specifically bail reform and pre-trial release provisions. Those sections of the amended SAFE-T Act were set to go into effect throughout Illinois at the start of the new year.

Now, 65 Illinois counties which were part of a class-action lawsuit brought by prosecutors and sheriffs around the state will keep cash bail in place. However, Governor J.B. Pritzker along with Attorney General Kwame Raoul have said they will be appealing the circuit court’s decision to the Illinois Supreme Court.

Will County was one of the 65 counties included within that lawsuit. DuPage County, however, was not, so the elimination of cash bail will take effect there as of January 1. 

Amendment 1, the “Worker’s Rights Amendment” 

During the November election, Illinois voted to approve the Workers’ Rights Amendment, which guarantees a constitutional right for workers to organize and bargain collectively.

It also prevents the passage of any future right-to-work laws.

Naperville Students Inspire New State Symbol:

Thanks to the efforts of students at Maplebrook Elementary School in Naperville and Pleasantdale Middle School in Burr Ridge, dolostone will officially be Illinois’ new state rock starting in 2023.

Dolostone is a sedimentary rock that holds up most of the bedrock in Illinois.

The kids received a hand from State Senator Laura Ellman and State Representative Janet Yang Rohr in designating dolostone as the state’s first official rock.

Gas Tax Freeze Ending

Drivers in Illinois will see taxes go up at the pump at the start of the new year as a six-month freeze on the state gas tax expires January 1.

On July 1, 2022, Governor J.B. Pritzker put a six-month delay on the 2022 gas tax increase to provide relief from escalating inflation rates.

But as of January 1, 2023, a roughly 3.2 cent-per-gallon increase will take effect, bringing the total gas tax to 42.4 cents per gallon.

Drivers will see another bump in the gas tax on July 1, when the state’s annual inflation-based increase kicks in. That’s due to the Rebuild Illinois infrastructure bill, signed into law in 2019, meant to help fund transportation infrastructure as well as educational institutions and state facilities.

You can find the full list of Illinois’ new laws in 2023 here. 

Naperville’s Assault Rifle Sales Ban – Put On Hold:

Locally, one new law that had been set to go into effect on January 1, 2023 has been put on hold.

Back in August, Naperville City Council voted 8-1 in favor of prohibiting the local sale of assault rifles.

The ban was quickly fought by Robert Bevis, owner of Law Weapons & Supply in Naperville. The National Association for Gun Rights filed a lawsuit on behalf of Bevis, calling the ban unconstitutional. It also contends the terms “assault rifle” used within the ordinance is inaccurate and meant to stir up emotions.

On December 9, the city agreed not to enforce the ban until a judge rules on a preliminary injunction. The ban had been set to go into effect on January 1, 2023.

Naperville News 17’s Joe Kennedy reports.

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