Ep. 65: The new Illinois laws taking effect in 2023
The new year will bring new state laws, many of which passed before lawmakers and the public had time to review them. How will these complex laws change life in Illinois? Joe Tabor, director of policy research at Illinois Policy Institute, gives an overview of Illinois’ new laws for 2023 from the controversial SAFE-T Act to a new constitutional amendment.
This week’s Policy Shop is by Joe Tabor, director of research at the Illinois Policy Institute.
The new year brings new opportunities and hopes. For us here in Illinois, it also brings two gas tax hikes. But that’s not all! Peruse this list of some of the other new laws and rules taking effect in Illinois on Jan. 1, 2023:
Cash bail, state symbols and more: Over 180 new laws passed by the Illinois General Assembly are set to take effect when we ring in 2023. Here are some of the notable items to watch:
- SAFE-T Act becomes law: A hot-button topic in the 2022 election cycle, and then during the recent General Assembly veto session when it was amended, provisions of the SAFE-T Act will replace the state’s current cash bail system with a pretrial release framework. It is intended to eliminate financial inequities arising from poorer defendants lacking the means to post bail. It essentially means starting Jan. 1, the decision as to whether a criminal suspect should be held in jail while awaiting trial will be based on public safety and the likelihood the suspect will flee rather than their financial ability to post bond.
- Trauma-informed school boards: Senate Bill 2109, was filed by state Sen. Karina Villa, D-West Chicago, and signed into law by Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Aug. 27, 2021. The law mandates school board members receive training on “trauma-informed practices,” which include “the prevalence of trauma among students, including the prevalence of trauma among student populations at higher risk of experiencing trauma” and “the effects of implicit or explicit bias on recognizing trauma among various students in connection with race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, socio-economic status and other relevant factors.”
- Resources for refugees: House Bill 1567, filed by state Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch, D-Westchester, requires state agencies under the governor’s jurisdiction to develop a New Americans Plan that incorporates effective training and resources, ensures language access and culturally appropriate services, and practices that reflect the needs of immigrant refugees.
- New state symbols: Illinois will have two new official state symbols on Jan. 1. HB 4821, filed by state Rep. Dave Severin, R-Marion, establishes the Eastern Milksnake as the official state snake. That was an initiative of Gentry Heiple, a snake enthusiast and Carterville Junior High School seventh grader. And HB 4261, filled by state. Rep. Janet Yang Rohr, D-Naperville, establishes dolostone as the official state rock. That was an initiative of a group of students from Pleasantdale Middle School and Maplebrook Elementary School in Naperville.
- Vehicle rebate: For people who purchased vehicles that were manufactured in Illinois, SB 3609, filed by state Sen. David Koehler, D-Peoria, allows drivers to apply for a one-time, $25 rebate “if the application for title is made no more than one year after the month in which the vehicle was manufactured.”
What about, Amendment 1? It already went into effect after passing on the November ballot, but 2023 will see the effects of Amendment 1 as unions grab more power than labor bosses have in any other state. We’re looking at a possible $4 billion total property tax hike during the next four years on businesses, homeowners, farmers and more to fund Illinois government unions’ expanded demands.
About the gas tax hike(s). Gas prices nationwide are going down, but the state gas tax in Illinois is scheduled for two increases in 2023. First, a predicted 3-cent hike Jan. 1 will take Illinois’ gas tax to 42.4 cents a gallon. Then another hike on July 1 will leave Illinoisans with an estimated 44.3 cents a gallon gas tax. The state gas tax was 19 cents before Gov. J.B. Pritzker doubled it in 2019 and built in automatic annual hikes every July 1. The extra hike in 2023 is because he delayed the 2022 increase until after the election.
And 11 days into the new year, the 103rd General Assembly will be inaugurated after voters on Nov. 8 increased the number of Democrats in the Illinois House farther past supermajority status. So ready your milksnakes, your wallet and your advocacy of your elected leaders as we face these new laws in 2023.