The Illinois state legislature passed many new laws that will take effect starting on January 1, 2020. The types of laws span a variety of areas from road safety, workers’ rights, consumer protection, and more.
Road Safety Laws
Several new traffic laws will apply to Illinois drivers in 2020. The legislation includes brand-new statutes and updates to old laws.
Some of the new road safety laws are:
- SB 1862 — An update to Scott’s Law established a $250 fine for first offenders who do not change lanes or slow down when driving past first responders. Fines for subsequent violations could range from $750 to $10,000.
- SB 86 — Drivers who watch videos on their phones or other devices while on the road can face fines ranging from $75 to $150.
- SB 1496 — Drivers who hit construction workers could face a maximum fine of $25,000. The previous maximum fine was $10,000.
- HB 1873 — The fines for illegally passing a school bus are $300 for a first violation (previously $150) and $1,000 for subsequent violations (previously $500).
Consumer Protection Laws
Illinois’ 2020 consumer protection laws focus primarily on data collection and what businesses are permitted to do with the information of their customers.
The Illinois legislature passed the following laws to protect consumers in the state:
- SB 1624 — Companies must report data breaches to the state attorney general if more than 500 residents have been affected.
- HB 2189 — Genetic testing companies cannot share data with insurance companies without consent from the consumer.
Labor and Workers’ Rights Laws
The new labor protection laws include the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act, a minimum wage raise, and the reclassification of graduate assistants as employees.
Workers in Illinois are now protected by the following legislation:
- SB 1 — The minimum wage was raised from $8.25 to $9.25.
- HB 3405 — Tips cannot be collected by an employer under the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act.
- HB 253 — Graduate assistants are reclassified as employees and permitted the full rights of employees.
Animal Protection Laws
Pets and other animals are included in the Illinois residents who will be impacted by new state legislation in 2020.
The state’s animals receive protections under these laws:
- HB 3390 — There must be fire alarms and sprinklers installed in kennels.
- HB 2086 — April is declared as “Healthy Pet Month.”
- SB 131 — Cats over 4 months of age and feral cats who are spayed or neutered must receive a rabies vaccination.
Insurance and Medical Care Laws
The Illinois legislature worked to expand insurance coverage for residents in 2020.
These laws establish new medical and insurance standards in Illinois:
- HB 3435 — Insurance companies must provide EpiPen prescription coverage for children under the age of 18.
- HB 2847 — Insurance providers cannot deny coverage or increase rates for living organ donors. Employers cannot punish workers who take off to donate blood or an organ. The secretary of state must compile a registry of organ and tissue owners.
- HB 3113 — Insurance policies must fully cover one skin examination each year for policyholders.
- SB 162 — Mammograms must be covered without a co-pay.
- HB 889 — Insurance must include long-term coverage for Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses.
Pregnancy and Childbirth Care Laws
New laws were created in response to statistics on infant and maternal mortality released in reports from The New York Times Magazine and the Illinois Department of Public Health, according to NBC 5 Chicago. The legislation aims to increase the competency of healthcare providers and protect women’s rights.
The following laws provide protections to birthing mothers:
- HB 2895 — Medical professionals who treat pregnant or postpartum mothers must complete annual trainings. The Illinois Department of Public Health must also create bias training and other equality initiatives.
- HB 2 — This law established 21 childbirth rights for women.
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