Illinois passes new state laws for 2020

Mary Jane Deer, Head News Editor

Illinois lawmakers have passed approximately 225 laws that take effect in 2020. The latest House bills (HB) and Senate bills (SB) will affect education, animal tested cosmetics and marijuana consumption. Central Times selected 11 of the new laws Illinois passed that relate to education, equality and activism. 


Marijuana legalization

Illinois becomes the 11th state to legalize recreational marijuana. Those 21 or older can purchase it at a recreational dispensary. Only medicinal marijuana patients can grow the plant. Pot products are prohibited to be used in public. 


Medical marijuana in schools

Students who are registered medicinal marijuana patients of the Medical Cannabis Pilot Program will be allowed to take their medication in schools. Nurses and administrators can provide cannabis medication to students and supervise the student as they administer the medication themselves. 


Teaching consent in schools

Sex educations classes must include discussions on consent according to SB 3550. The new law outlines points of age-appropriate discussion, including that consent can be withdrawn and past consent does not ensure future consent. 


Teaching Illinois history

All Illinois U.S. history courses will include history of the state.  SB1601 is meant to educate students on Illinois history as a way of inspiring future state lawmakers. 


Infants receive college funding

Under  HB 2237, every newborn in Illinois will receive $50 in an investment account towards a future college education. The money is meant to encourage parents to start saving for their child’s college fund early on. The first children eligible will be those born in January 2021. 


Colleges increase efforts and resources regarding mental health

All public colleges and universities will need to make mental health and suicide prevention resources available to students with HB 3404. 


Gender neutral restrooms

Single occupancy restrooms must be gender neutral. They must be available to be used by all genders under SB 556. 


Ban on animal tested cosmetics

All animal tested cosmetics will be banned from Illinois, with manufacturers facing fines up to $5,000 for selling them. SB 0241 is meant to encourage companies to find alternative to animal testing. 


Inmates receive voting classes

Outgoing prisoners in both juvenile and adult facilities will be required to attend three 90 minute sessions on civics and the importance of voting. HB 2541 requires peer inmates to lead workshops, reminding others that their voting rights will be regained once they leave prison. 


Ending jury gender bias

No person can be discriminated against in jury duty on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity under SB 1378. 


Minimum Wage Increases

Minimum wage rose to $9.25 and will reach $10 an hour on July 1. It is expected to increase annually by $1 until 2025, when the minimum wage will be $15 an hour.