The Illinois General Assembly had an abbreviated year because of the pandemic.
The Legislature suspended its session because of COVID on March 16, only returning for a few days from May 20 until the end of the month.
As such, Illinois passed very few laws this year that take effect in 2021, and the most impactful ones listed below were passed in January or earlier and are only now taking effect Jan. 1.
One of the most talked about new pieces of legislation that takes effect Friday actually had some provisions begin this year.
The law requires insurance companies that provide coverage for prescription insulin drugs to not charge more than $100 per 30-day supply of the drug to consumers.
That provision applies regardless of the type and amount of insulin needed by the individual.
That law amended a previous act, and another new law changes the Address Confidentiality for Victims of Domestic Violence Act.
Starting Friday, anyone who is a victim of sexual assault, stalking or similar crimes may apply to have their address kept confidential.
In other words, those victims can apply to the attorney general’s office to have their home, school or work address remain secret and use a substitute mailing address.
Also in the criminal justice realm, the state now has more tools at its disposal to identify a missing person thanks to a new law.
An amendment to the Missing Persons Identification Act allows for family members to voluntarily submit DNA samples to facilitate the finding of a missing perdon.
The samples will not be retained after the location or identification of the remains of the missing person unless there is a search warrant.
The law also provides that, when a person is missing for 30 days after being identified in a missing person report, law enforcement must coordinate with partner laboratories and the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System.
A final 2019 change taking effect in 2021 is the minimum wage in the state is going up to $11 an hour. It has been at $10 an hour since July.