New Year, New Laws: A Look at What to Expect in 2022

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With the new year comes new laws and there are nearly 300 that took effect in Illinois with the start of 2022. Here are just a few.

Minimum Wage Increase

Those earning the minimum wage in Illinois will find their pay increased to $12 an hour in 2022.

This makes for the third pay adjustment since 2020. It’s a result of the “Lifting Up Illinois Working Families Act” Governor J.B. Pritzker signed into law in 2019. The legislation puts the state on a path to gradually increase its minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025.

Mental Health Days for Students

Students struggling with mental health or behavioral health could find some relief thanks, in part, to Senate Bill 1557. It allows students to exercise their right to five excused absences from school for mental health or behavioral health. The legislation stipulates that no medical note is required.

ACT/SAT Option

House Bill 226 gives students the ability to choose whether or not to submit either ACT or SAT scores if applying to a public college or university. The new law comes as many institutions waived this requirement as they sought to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.

Asian American Studies

House Bill 376 requires elementary and high schools to include Asian American events and contributions into a unit of instruction.

Hairstyle Discrimination

A law went into effect making it illegal to discriminate against a person’s hairstyle, specifically those historically associated with race or ethnicity.

Body-Worn Cameras

House Bill 3653 requires cities and counties with populations greater than 500,000 people to equip their police officers with body-worn cameras. That includes DuPage and Will counties. The law will apply to all jurisdictions in Illinois come 2025.


House Bill 3922 allows the state to designate June 19, or Juneteenth, as a paid state holiday. This is the first addition to the list of official state holidays in years.

Lead Service Line Replacement and Notification

Illinois lawmakers are cracking down on units of government over access to lead-free water.

Legislation was signed by the governor last year setting guidelines and procedures to allow communities to better serve their constituents. With it comes a timeline and requirements for the removal and replacement of all lead lines in Illinois.

The law went into effect Jan. 1.

Animal Welfare

A law went into effect banning individuals from possessing animals if they’ve been convicted of two or more specified animal-related offenses.

Water and Electricity Rate Increases

And locally, the Naperville City Council decided this past fall to raise the city’s water and electricity rates. When residents look at their utility bills, they will find the cost is up by about $14 over three years.

The city intends to use the added money to invest in capital improvement projects.

The rate increases went into effect Jan. 1.

Some other new laws kick in later in the year.

Reproductive Rights Expansion

With Governor J.B. Pritzker’s repeal of the Parental Notification Act, starting in June, minors will no longer need parental or legal guardian permission to have an abortion.

The legislation will further legislative action taken to expand reproductive rights in Illinois.

The repeal, which goes into effect in June, comes amid a wave of legislation and court action taken up by some states trying to overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which legalized abortion nationwide.

Maternal Health Outcomes

House Bill 3401 lays the foundation to better accommodate those who could benefit from the services of a midwife.

The legislation establishes a set of uniform standards for the qualifications, education and training of people who are licensed to practice. It also allows for the creation of a Midwifery Board, a panel whose authority is to recommend amendments.

The legislation goes into effect Oct. 1.

Lemonade Stands

And some good news for young entrepreneurs, a new statewide law went into effect making it legal for lemonade stands to open for business without government regulation. Senate Bill 119 stipulates that a temporary food permit is not needed from a local health department in order to operate.

Naperville News 17’s Megann Horstead reports.

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Photo courtesy: Daniel Schwen