Laws are passed throughout the year, but many have an implementation date on the first of the year. Some (but not all) new City and State Laws to review are listed below.
New Chicago Ordinances:
SO2023-0002980: Chicago Paid Leave and Paid Sick and Safe Leave Ordinance
Starting July 1, 2024, employees are now also eligible for up to 40 hours of all-purpose Paid Leave, which also accrues at a rate of one hour for every 35 hours worked. The Ordinance requires that, unless otherwise provided in a collective bargaining agreement, and dependent on their size, employers must pay out unused all-purpose Paid Leave upon an employee’s separation from employment. Small employers (50 or fewer eligible employees) are exempt from this pay out requirement. For 2024 only, medium employers (between 51 and 100 eligible employees) only need to pay out 16 hours of all-purpose Paid Leave. After 2024, employers with 51 or more employees must pay out all unused Paid Leave.
R2023-0004166: Real Estate Transfer Tax Increase
Chicago currently has a law called the Real Estate Transfer Tax (RETT). This is a tax imposed when titled real estate property is transferred within the city of Chicago.
Under the proposal, if passed by Chicago voters on March 19th, the tax rate would change depending on the value of the property. The tax rate for the proportion of all properties valued at:
Under $1 million would be an additional $3 for every $500 of the transfer price.
Between $1 to $1.5 million would increase to 2%, or an additional $10 for every $500 of the transfer price.
Over $1.5 million would increase to 3%, or an additional $15 for every $500 of the transfer price. This is a 300% increase from the current rate.
The real estate transfer tax would be then divvied up between dozens of organizations to utilize for homeless or affordable housing. There has not been any analysis on the impact of these additional real estate transfer taxes on citywide property assessments affecting either the residential and commercial side. Coupled with the significant increase in the city budget, lack of commercial property sales, a property tax system that has been manipulated for years, and proposed additional taxes over the next few years, Chicago property tax bills will see a substantial increase.
This resolution is set to come before voters on the March 19, 2024 primary ballot. If you vote YES, you are voting to approve the plan to raise the real estate transfer tax on property worth more than $1 million. If you vote NO, you are voting to reject this proposal.
SO2023-0002995: Elimination of Tipped Credit Wage
This ordinance would phase out the subminimum wage for tipped workers by 2028. Under the proposal, wages would increase 8% on July 1st, 2024. They would then increase 8% each year until 2028, at which point they would be equal to the minimum wage for workers not receiving gratuities. Some have argued that this proposal would hurt small restaurants who already struggle to make ends meet and that it would lead to higher prices for consumers at a time when inflation has already hurt people’s wallets. Many of our local restaurant workers expressed strong opposition to this ordinance this year and when it previously came up in past council terms. Based on this feedback from restaurant workers owners in our ward, I decided to vote against this ordinance because of its impact on their post-COVID wages and because most tipped staff were already making far above the existing $15 minimum wage with tips. The ordinance originally allowed for a five year phased in approach for restaurant owners, but it was nixed in the end by the Mayor's office.
New State Laws:
820 ILCS 192: Illinois Paid Leave for All Workers Act:
Most employers in the state will be required to provide 40 hours of paid time off to their workers, and employees can request their days off with only seven days notice. Does not apply to: Seasonal workers, such as lifeguards, will be exempt, as will federal employees or college students who work non-full-time, temporary jobs for their university.
HB 1541: If the heat is on, so is your gas and electric
Prohibits utility companies from cutting off gas or electric services for Illinois residential users because they haven't paid their bill on days when the temperature exceeds 90 degrees, or when there is a heat watch, advisory, or warning.
HB 2245: Cracking down on car thefts and carjackings
Requires Illinois car manufacturers to establish a vehicle theft hotline to help locate stolen vehicles using their existing global positioning (GPS) systems. Does not affect state laws on prosecution and adjudication of criminals involved in stolen vehicle incidents or carjackings.
HB 2431: Don't video conference and drive
Keep your eyes on the road! Texting and driving is already punishable by law, and House Bill 2431 expands that, prohibiting drivers from using an electronic device to participate in video conferences or access social media sites while driving.
HB 2500: No fees for veterans' animal adoptions
Requires animal shelters and animal control facilities to waive the adoption fee for any pet for military veterans in Illinois.
HB 3924: Fentanyl education
Requires high schools to teach about the dangers of fentanyl in all state-required health courses.
HB 3203: Prevent fentanyl exposure
Pharmacists may sell fentanyl test stripes over the counter. Test strips may also be distributed by county health departments.
HB 3751: Municipal police applicants
Non-citizens who are legally allowed to work in the U.S. will now be eligible to become police officers.
HB 5855: Protect Illinois Communities Act
Illinois gun owners who have certain assault weapons or attachments have until January 1 to register them with the state. It’s a requirement as part of an assault