News laws for 2019 (Part 2)

As Illinoisans from Cairo to Chicago celebrate the New Year, 253 new laws will take effect on January 1.

These new laws cover everything from supporting and protecting our military personnel, to promoting economic development, and targeting “golden parachutes.”

New laws support, protect military personnel

New laws to support and protect our military personnel and veterans are among those that will be implemented in 2019.  Military personnel believed to have a physical or mental condition related to their service will now be included in the state’s definition of “high-risk missing person,” providing additional resources to help locate and safeguard these heroes under Senate Bill 2278.

Homeless veterans will be provided a free copy of medical records by health-care facilities and practitioners to help support claims for veterans’ disability benefits under House Bill 4848.

Greater dual credit access for high school students

In the New Year, high school students will have greater access to dual credit coursework thanks to two new state laws.  Senate Bill 2527 allows qualified students to enroll in an unlimited amount of dual credit courses and earn an unlimited amount of academic credits from dual credit courses taught by a qualified instructor.  Another measure, Senate Bill 2838, improves access by requiring community colleges to enter into a dual credit agreement if a high school district within their boundaries requests it.

River Edge Development Zone Program revamp

With a focus on redevelopment and economic growth, the River Edge Redevelopment Zone Program gets a facelift in the New Year.  This program helps revive and redevelop environmentally-challenged properties adjacent to rivers in Illinois.  In addition to a few other changes, Senate Bill 3527 also creates the Historic Preservation Tax Credit Act to help protect and rehabilitate historic structures.

Golden Parachutes

A new law targeting overly generous severance packages, also known as “golden parachutes,” is set to take effect on January 1.  Golden parachutes have made headlines in recent years when the College of DuPage president was awarded $762,000 at taxpayers’ expense.  Senate Bill 3604 sets severance pay conditions for government employees to prevent situations like this from happening in the future.

The full list

There’s a lot more to know as we kick off 2019!  A list of all 253 new laws is available by clicking here.

Brian Stewart

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