Illinois’ New Laws Coming Into Effect for 2023

New Year’s Day will see nearly 200 new laws take effect across Illinois, with significant implications for the wealth, safety and health of the state’s residents.

Newsweek has a summary of some of the most significant changes, so whether you live in the Prairie State or are just planning a visit, you can stay on the right side of the law.

Elimination of Cash Bail

Cash bail will be eliminated across much of Illinois on January 1, though not the whole state as originally intended following a court ruling.

On December 28, a judge ruled the policy unconstitutional, meaning it will not take effect for now in the 65 counties, which took part in the lawsuit, the Rockford Register Star reported.

Illinois suffered from a number of high profile crimes in 2022, including a shooting at the Highland Park July 4 parade, which left seven people dead and more than two dozen injured. A suspect fled the scene, but was later apprehended by police.

The Illinois State Capitol Building in Springfield, Illinois, is seen on May 05, 2012. A number of new laws will come into effect for Illinois on January 1, 2023.
Raymond Boyd/Michael Ochs/GETTY

New Restrictions on Child Sex Offenders

Those convicted of sexual offenses against children will now face new employment restrictions, as a result of Senate Bill 3019, the Journal Star reported.

Sexual offenders will no longer be able to work at any carnival, county or state fair, or amusement park where there are children under the age of 18. This mirrors restrictions, which already exist for schools and child daycare centers.

Anti-Carjacking Laws

A number of new laws designed to combat a spat of carjackings in Illinois are due to come into effect, according to the Journal Star.

As a result of House Bill 601, the crime of possession of burglary tools will be extended to include items designed specifically to break into cars, such as a duplicate fob keys. Victims will no longer be liable for costs when their vehicles are impounded, after being stolen, as long as they report the theft swiftly to police under House Bill 3772.

In November, a woman in Chicago used a concealed firearm to injure a man who was breaking into her car, after which she was shot and injured in turn.

Minimum Wage Increase

The minimum wage across Illinois will be increased on January 1 to $13 an hour, except for workers younger than 18 years old working less than 650 hours per year, who will get a minimum of $10.50 per hour, NBC News Chicago reported.

Workers who earn tips will get a minimum of $7.80 per hour, but any shortfall from the $13 per hour must be made up by the employer.

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Gas Tax Increase

Illinois’ gas tax will increase by 3.2 cents per gallon, bringing the total per gallon to 42.4 cents on January 1.

This inflation linked rise had been due to take effect in 2022, but was postponed for six months. Speaking to NBC Chicago, officials said a further rise is expected on July 1.

New Substitute Teacher Rules

As a result of House Bill 4798, students who are training to become teachers, and who have collected at least 90 credit hours, will be able to apply for a substitute teaching license, the Journal Star reported, as Illinois seeks to tackle a shortage in the job sector

Previously, substitute teachers had to have bachelor’s degree, or higher, from an approved institution.

Student Loans

Senate Bill 3925 means loan repayment grants will be offered by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission to certain individuals with an associate degree or above, the Journal Star reported.

To qualify, you must work for a human services agency, which works with a state agency, to provide “direct or indirect services that ensure that individuals have essential elements to build and maintain physical, emotional, and economic well-being at every phase of life.”

The maximum that can be allocated is $25,000 per year if you have a master’s degree, or higher.