1-3-2021-7-48-01-PM-4189355

Pandemic takes toll on new laws for Illinois

Minimum wage jumps $1 per hour in 2021

By Steve MetschÊ

The making of laws appears to be yet another victim of the coronavirus pandemic in Illinois.Ê

Normally, we see dozens of new laws taking effect on a wide range of topics each New Year’s Day. But as 2021 begins Friday, there are only three new laws on the books in Springfield.Ê

Laws using DNA to help find missing persons, capping insulin costs for diabetics, and protecting victims of sexual assault or stalking take effect Jan. 1. Ê

Although not a new law, the state minimum wage in Illinois is also set to increase on Friday to $11 per hour.Ê

In a law sponsored by Assistant Majority Leader Tony Munoz (D-Chicago), a process is created for using DNA to attempt to identify and locate a missing person.Ê

According to a release on www.illinoisstatedemocrats.com, law enforcement agencies can face roadblocks collecting DNA samples when trying to locate missing people.Ê

Public Act 101-0266, allows law enforcement agencies to collect DNA samples of the missing person or attempt to collect and create a reference DNA sample from their family members, the release said.Ê

All DNA samples collected in missing person cases from family members of the missing person cannot be retained once the person has been located or identified.Ê

The law also adds the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUS) to the list of laboratories law enforcement agencies can coordinate with when trying to find a missing person.Ê

NamUS is a national information clearing house and resource center for missing, unidentified and unclaimed person cases across the country.Ê

Missing people’s information would need to be submitted to NamUS within 45 days. In high-risk missing person cases, law enforcement would be required to submit a packet of all relevant DNA samples to NamUS within 30 days.Ê

“DNA testing can help reunite missing people with their families,” Munoz said in the release. “If a family member of yours is missing, you can now provide DNA samples to law enforcement to help find them.”Ê

“Successfully finding a missing person requires law enforcement to move fast, and we want to make sure they have every tool available to do their job,” Munoz added. “By using the national system, we have a better opportunity of finding missing people sooner.”Ê

In another new law, diabetics should benefit greatly from Senate Bill 667 which caps all out-of-pocket insulin costs at $100 per month, according to a story on www.khqa.com.Ê

According to the release, the law applies to all patients using a state-regulated insurance plan, regardless of the supply they need.Ê

Additionally, it requires the Departments of Insurance, Human Services, and Healthcare and Family Services to jointly issue an “insulin pricing report.” This report will include details on insulin pricing practices and recommendations to prevent overpricing of insulin.Ê

This law makes Illinois the second state in the nation to cap out-of-pocket insulin costs, the release said. State Sen. Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill), and state Rep. Will Guzzardi (D-Chicago) co-sponsored the bill.Ê

According to Manar and Guzzardi, about 1.3 million Illinois residents have diabetes and rely on insulin to manage their blood sugar.Ê

The third new law, sponsored by Sen. Suzy Glowiak Hilton (D-Western Springs), allows sexual assault and stalking survivors to keep their home addresses confidential.Ê

The bill, which passed with bipartisan support, empowers the attorney general’s office to keep survivors’ home addresses private from their attackers and stalkers.Ê

“Investigations of sexual assault can be long, grueling and emotionally devastating for survivors,” Glowiak Hilton said on her website, www.senatorsuzyglowiak.comÊ

“It’s critical for survivors to feel safe at home during and after the conclusion of the investigation.” she said in the release.Ê

The law allows survivors of sexual abuse or stalking to list the attorney general’s office as their contact address instead of revealing their actual address, avoiding any risk that their abuser might locate them.Ê

The minimum wage increase is part of a bill signed last year by Gov. JB Pritzker that will raise the state’s minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2025.Ê

Already this year, the minimum was increased to $9.25 a year ago and raised again to $10 an hour on July 1. It will increase $1 per hour on Jan.1, 2022, Jan. 1, 2023, Jan. 1, 2024 and Jan. 1, 2025.Ê

“We want to make sure that workers earning minimum wage are aware that the $1 increase should be reflected in their pay checks for any time they work after the first of the year,” said Michael Kleinik, director of the Illinois Department of Labor. “While we fully expect employers will pay the new wage, we also want workers to be aware of the change.”Ê

Cook County has a higher minimum wage than the state, currently $13 an hour. The current city of Chicago minimum wage is $13.50 an hour for small employers (4 to 20 employees) and $14 an hour for large employers (21 or more employees).Ê

A study by the Illinois Economic Policy Institute at the University of Illinois indicated that more than 1.4 million adult hourly workers in Illinois make less than $15 per hour.Ê

Workers who are under 18 years old and work fewer than 650 hours in a year will earn a minimum wage of $8.50 per hour beginning January 1. The youth minimum wage rate will gradually rise to $13 an hour by 2025.Ê

Local News

The Conrady Junior High School seventh-grade choir sings holiday songs before the beginning of the Hills Chamber's Christmas Party and "State of the Cities" addresses Tuesday night at the Hickory Hills Community Center. (Photos by Joe Boyle)

Palos Hills, Hickory Hills mayors optimistic about business growth

By Joe Boyle The mayors of Palos Hills and Hickory Hills said the emergence of new businesses and programs are an indication that both communities are looking forward to better days. Palos Hills Mayor Gerald Bennett and Hickory Hills Mayor Mike Howley both presented their “State of the Cities” addresses Tuesday night at the Hickory…

IllinoisTollwayLogo_HiRes

Tri-State Tollway lane closures Friday night over I-55

Overnight lane closures are scheduled this weekend for concrete work on the northbound Tri-State Tollway (I-294) over I-55. Traffic delays are expected. Beginning at 8 p.m. on tonight, December 9, and continuing until noon on Saturday, December 10, traffic on northbound I-294 between 75th Street and Joliet Road, traffic will be reduced to a single lane.…

Bourbons Smokehouse will hold a grand opening on Friday at Sheep's Food District in Orland Hills. (Photo by Bob Bong)

Comings & Goings: Grand opening today for Bourbons Smokehouse at Sheep’s Food District

By Bob Bong Sheep’s Food District in Orland Park may have something for everyone under one roof. Sheep’s is affiliated with the White Sheep, a breakfast and lunch restaurant at 14435 S. LaGrange Road in Orland Park. But while The White Sheep is open only for breakfast and lunch and closes daily at 3 p.m.,…

reporter oak lawn police logo

Man charged in fatal Oak Lawn shooting outside hospital

By Bob Bong Oak Lawn police say a fatal shooting outside of Advocate Christ Medical Center early Saturday morning stemmed from an earlier double homicide near 87th and Green streets. Marques Rose, 36, of the 8100 block of South Winchester in Chicago, has been charged with one count of first-degree murder for the shooting death…

Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau sounds off Monday night about what he liked and didn't like about changes to the SAFE-T Act. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Pekau has mixed reactions to SAFE-T Act changes

By Jeff Vorva In response to criticism during the election campaign, the Illinois General Assembly has made some changes to the SAFE-T Act. Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau, one of the act’s harshest critics, is not completely satisfied. Pekau has voiced criticism of the law, especially its no bail provision that kicks in on January…

Palos Heights Mayor Bob Straz encourages the city to build a wall honoring volunteers during Tuesday night's council meeting. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Palos Heights council talks wall of tributes

By Jeff Vorva Tributes were the talk on Tuesday. The Palos Heights City Council meeting featured a discussion on building a wall to honor volunteers in town and kicked ideas around to honor former aldermen Dolores Kramarski, who died in November, and Alan Fulkerson, who died in 2020. The council unanimously voted to foot a…

John Mahoney is not seeking re-election as the mayor of Palos Park. (Photos by Jeff Vorva)

Mahoney not running for Palos Park mayor; Milovich-Walters throws hat in the ring

By Jeff Vorva Palos Park will have a new mayor in 2023. John Mahoney will end his 16-year tenure as mayor next year after he announced this week that he will not run for a fifth term. “Every time you run for office you think about it,” the 60-year-old Mahoney said about leaving the post.…

CookCountySheriffShield

2 Dead, 4 hurt In LaGrange Road crash

By Bob Bong Two people were killed and four more injured in a traffic crash Sunday afternoon on LaGrange Road in unincorporated Palos Park. Cook County Sheriff’s Police said a 56-year-old man died at the scene and a 54-year-old woman died of her injuries at an area hospital. Police said they responded shortly after 4…

marist logo

Boys Basketball: Marist stays unbeaten through two weeks

By Steve Millar Correspondent Marist came into the season with some question marks after losing a pair of key players to transfers and elevating several newcomers, including three freshmen, to the varsity roster. The young RedHawks are, however, off to a blazing 6-0 start. They held on for a 57-55 win on the road Nov.…

Jaeden King of St. Xavier gets ready to score one of his 39 points against Trinity Christian College on Nov. 30. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Local Hoops Wrap: Transfers shining for Saint Xavier in early going

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer The transfer portal is turning college athletics upside down, and Saint Xavier men’s basketball coach Robert Ford is enjoying it. And taking advantage of it. Jaeden King came to SXU in 2021 after transferring from NCAA Division II Tiffin University. Prior to that he played at Western Illinois. He is…

Neighbors

DVN JCs Restoration House Ad
Pension debt grows to $139.7 billion

Pension debt grows to $139.7 billion

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Illinois’ unfunded pension liability grew by $9.8 billion, or 7.5 percent, in the fiscal year that ended June 30, due in large part to market losses in a volatile economy. The Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability reported Thursday that the total unfunded liability in the…

ANALYSIS: Illinois’ high court makes history

ANALYSIS: Illinois’ high court makes history

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] While a crocheted serpent took its place on the Capitol rotunda this week and the governor signed a pair of major bills passed in the recent veto session, history was happening on the Illinois Supreme Court. For the first time in its history, the state’s high court is…

Pritzker signs changes to SAFE-T Act’s cash bail provisions

Pritzker signs changes to SAFE-T Act’s cash bail provisions

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker on Tuesday signed a follow-up measure to the SAFE-T Act criminal justice reform, the third such amendment since the law’s initial passage in January 2021. The changes approved by lawmakers last week in the fall veto session center on the law’s provisions which…

State elections board certifies 2022 results

State elections board certifies 2022 results

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Board of Elections certified its election results Monday, putting the final stamp on another Democratic sweep of statewide offices. The board reported that 4,142,642 out of 8,115,751 registered voters cast ballots in the election, a turnout of roughly 51 percent. That’s down from…

Holiday displays – including the Satanic Temple’s – return to Illinois Capitol

Holiday displays – including the Satanic Temple’s – return to Illinois Capitol

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – The Satanic Temple of Illinois debuted a new display in the Illinois Capitol rotunda Tuesday, taking its place next to the annual Christmas and Hanukkah displays. For Christmas, that means the Springfield Nativity Committee has once again placed a manger scene featuring Mary, Joseph and Jesus.…

State elections board certifies 2022 results

State elections board certifies 2022 results

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Board of Elections certified its election results Monday, putting the final stamp on another Democratic sweep of statewide offices. The board reported that 4,142,642 out of 8,115,751 registered voters cast ballots in the election, a turnout of roughly 51 percent. That’s down from…

Tax credits, prison reform pass in veto session

Tax credits, prison reform pass in veto session

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Illinois lawmakers last week passed significant legislation dealing with electric vehicle manufacturing incentives and the availability of hygiene products for prisoners in the state’s correctional system. But some weightier issues, including a possible assault weapons ban, will wait until a lame duck session scheduled for early…

CAPITOL RECAP: SAFE-T Act changes head to Pritzker; unemployment debt deal advances

CAPITOL RECAP: SAFE-T Act changes head to Pritzker; unemployment debt deal advances

By CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS SPRINGFIELD – Lawmakers on Thursday passed a long-awaited amendment to the SAFE-T Act criminal justice reform’s provisions that will eliminate cash bail when the calendar hits 2023. The measure expands the list of crimes for which a judge can order pretrial detention, adds to what a judge can consider when determining…

Lawmakers advance $1.8 billion unemployment fund bailout

Lawmakers advance $1.8 billion unemployment fund bailout

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – On the final day of their fall veto session, Illinois lawmakers on Thursday advanced a pair of bills that would infuse $1.8 billion into the state’s unemployment trust fund, which was depleted during the economic shutdown brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. The bipartisan agreement came…

Pretrial detention changes to SAFE-T Act will head to governor

Pretrial detention changes to SAFE-T Act will head to governor

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Lawmakers on Thursday passed a long-awaited amendment to the SAFE-T Act criminal justice reform’s provisions that will eliminate cash bail when the calendar hits 2023. The measure expands the list of crimes for which a judge can order pretrial detention, adds to what a judge can…

DVN Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church House Ad
CRR NH Fireside Realty House Ad