Lawyers, guns, money, plus 9 other Illinois laws to know starting Jan. 1

Lawyers, guns, money, plus 9 other Illinois laws to know starting Jan. 1

There are over 150 new laws going into effect in 2024, but here are a dozen likely to affect your life. They might impact the cost of a burger, your gun ownership, where you can vape and who your local police officer is and what that officer can do.

More than 150 new laws will go into effect in 2024, including a statewide minimum wage hike, changes to Illinois’ criminal sentencing requirements, restrictions on vaping and gun ownership, and a new rule allowing noncitizens to become police officers.

Of the new laws signed by Gov. J.B. Pritkzer, at least 89 will take effect Jan. 1, 2024. Here’s what you need to know about some of the laws going into effect in the new year:

1. Illinois minimum wage increase: The hourly minimum wage for non-tipped employees will increase from $13 to $14, while the minimum wage for tipped workers will grow from $7.80 to $8.40 an hour.

2. Non-citizen police applicants: Any individual who is not a citizen but legally authorized to work in the United States under federal law is authorized to become a police officer, subject to all requirements and limitations.

3. Assault weapons ban registry: Gun owners must register banned weapons with the Illinois State Police by Jan. 1, 2024. After New Year’s Eve, assault weapons owners failing to register face criminal charges ranging from a Class A misdemeanor for a first offense up to a Class 3 felony, punishable by five to 10 years in prison.

4. Indoor public vaping ban: Illinoisans found to be vaping indoors in a public space could face penalties up to $250.

5. Abolish life sentences for youth offenders: Youth offenders under the age of 21 can no longer receive a life sentence without the possibility of parole. This will only affect those incarcerated after Jan. 1, 2024.

6. Parole for life sentences: Anyone sentenced to life in prison while under the age of 21 after Jan. 1, 2024, who serves 40 or more years becomes eligible for parole.

7. Police surveillance drones: Law enforcement will be allowed to monitor special events and parades with surveillance drones. The drones are prohibited from carrying weapons or facial recognition software.

8. Non-citizen driver’s license: Individuals who are not citizens can get a standard driver’s license to replace the current temporary visitor’s drivers license.

9. Renting and selling to migrants: Landlords will be required to rent or sell property to non-citizen migrants. The law also adds immigration status as a protected class.

10. Defunding libraries: Illinois public or school libraries that remove books deemed controversial from their shelves or fail to issue a statement against banning books will no longer receive state funding.

11. Electric charging outlets: Newly constructed homes and residential buildings must have a vehicle-capable electrical outlet in a parking space for each residential unit.

12. No fines or fees for minors: Illinoisans under the age of 18 can no longer be assessed fines or fees except for traffic violations, municipal ordinance violations, or boating or fishing violations.

If you want to learn about the more than 140 other new state laws going into effect during 2024, you can review the full list from the Illinois Municipal League here.

Correction: A previous version of this report incorrectly detailed the life sentence reforms for youthful offenders.

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