Several new laws are set to take effect in Illinois at the start of the new year, including parts of the controversial SAFE-T Act.
Here’s a look at some of the changes to expect starting Jan. 1, 2023.
End of Cash Bail
As part of the Pretrial Fairness Act, cash bail will be eliminated in Illinois starting on Jan. 1.
Under the provisions of the bill, as passed by the General Assembly, the state will allow judges to determine whether individuals accused of a specific set of felonies and violent misdemeanors pose a risk to another individual, or to the community at large. Judges will also be asked to determine whether the defendant poses a flight risk if released.
If the judge makes any of those determinations, then the defendant may be held in jail prior to trial.
The list of so-called “forcible felonies” that could invite judicial discretion on pretrial detention includes first and second-degree murder, predatory criminal sexual assault, robbery, burglary, residential burglary, aggravated arson, arson, kidnapping, aggravated battery resulting in great bodily harm, or any other felony that involves the use or threat of physical force or violence against an individual. Several other crimes were added to this list under the recent amendment, including non-probationable felonies, forcible felonies, hate crimes, attempts of crimes that are otherwise detainable, and others. Additions also included offenses that require jail or prison time, and not probation; all forcible felonies; hate crimes, animal torture and DUI causing great bodily harm.
Detention hearings would not be not mandatory for crimes that include probation as a possible punishment, but judges can still make the determination to keep those defendants incarcerated pending trial if they determine they are a risk to the public.
Those charged with stalking, aggravated stalking, domestic battery and aggravated domestic battery would also potentially be subject to pretrial detention.
New System For Those Already Detained
According to a spokesperson for Illinois Senate President Don Harmon’s office, “those currently detained can request to have the new system applied to their situation.”
In order to make the process “manageable for courts,” legislators proposed a tiered system for granting hearings on such requests. The hearings would then determine whether a current detainee should be released. The tiers would include:
- Lowest level offenses (example: petty shoplifting) hearings must be within 7 days of request.
- Those detained but considered flight risks would get hearings within 60 days.
- Those considered to be potential threats to safety get hearings within 90 days.
The Create a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair Act, also known as the CROWN Act, is an amendment to the Illinois Human Rights Act and aims to further combat discrimination in the state. According to the General Assembly, the bill “provides that ‘race,’ as used in the Employment Article, includes traits historically associated with race, including, but not limited to, hair texture and protective hairstyles such as braids, locks, and twists.”
New Student School Helpline
Passed in May, the Student Confidential Reporting Act, establishes a program where officials from schools, the state and Illinois State Police can receive reports and other information regarding the potential harm or self-harm of students or school employees.
The Safe2Help helpline will involve a toll-free telephone number and other means of communication allowing messages and information to be given to operators.
Details on the helpline can be found here.
Apprenticeship and Internship Pilot Program
The Act to the Job Training Assistance and Support Services Pilot Program Act will create a five-year pilot program aimed at offering assistance and support services, like transportation help or child care subsidies, to eligible people who may have otherwise struggled to complete an apprenticeship or internship. The results of the pilot will then be provided to the governor by Jan. 1, 2028.
Task Force on Missing and Murdered Chicago Women Act
This new law will create a task force that will examine “the systemic causes behind violence that Chicago women and girls experience.” It also will look at “appropriate methods for tracking and collecting data on violence against Chicago women and girls, including data on missing and murdered Chicago women and girls” and will create new policies and practices “that impact violence against Chicago women and girls and the investigation and prosecution of crimes of gender-related violence against Chicago residents.
The task force will work to compile data surrounding many of these crimes and will be required to report its findings to the General Assembly and the governor.
Sports License Plate Changes
Under new Illinois Vehicle Code, the Secretary of State will be required those seeking professional sports teams license plates, the option to display the logo of the Chicago Sky, Chicago Fire or the Chicago Red Stars. It also removes the option to add the logo of the St. Louis Rams.
Under new “Procurement Code” in Illinois, any state agency or institution of higher education contract prioritizes bids that offer compostable or recyclable foodware.
Under the bill, such contracts would be awarded to the lowest responsible bidder, but “an otherwise qualified bidder who will fulfill the contract through the use of compostable foodware or recyclable foodware may be given preference over other bidders unable to do so; provided that the bid is not more than 5% greater than the cost of products that are single-use plastic disposable foodware.”
It also “prohibits the procurement and use of single-use plastic disposable foodware at State parks and natural areas.”
Illinois’ New State Snake
Under an amendment to the state’s Designation Act, the Eastern Milksnake will become the official State snake of the state of Illinois.
According to the Department of Natural Resources, the milksnake can be found across Illinois, as it lives in fields, woodlands, rocky hillsides and river bottoms and hibernates in “small mammal burrows.”
“The milksnake kills prey by constriction. When disturbed, it will vibrate the tail rapidly, hiss and strike,” according to the DNR.
It got its name because at one time people falsely thought it could milk cows.
Latex Glove Ban Act
Beginning Jan. 1, any food service establishment will be required to ban latex gloves in the preparation and handling of food. It also prohibits such gloves by emergency personnel. Health care workers will be required to ban the gloves after Jan. 1, 2024.
“If latex gloves must be used in the preparation of food due to a crisis that interrupts a food service establishment’s ability to source nonlatex gloves, a sign shall be prominently placed at the point of order or point of purchase clearly notifying the public of the temporary change,” the law states.
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December 13, 2022 at 10:52PM