Nearly 300 laws will officially go into effect on January 1st.
Students will see some of the biggest changes this coming year. All children K-12 will have five excused absences from school for mental health days. There’s also no more discrimination allowed in schools against natural hairstyles like locs, braids, and afros.
IL State Senator Mike Simmons of Chicago says he championed the bill because hair discrimination specifically targets children of color: “Black youth have been targeted and mistreated for far too long for expressing and honoring their heritage and their culture. We cannot be holding our youth to spoken and unspoken standards about how your supposed to sound, act, and in this case look.”
High schoolers will be able to choose whether they’ll submit their ACT or SAT scores to Illinois’ public colleges and universities. If you’re under 16 and running a lemonade stand going forward, public health officials cannot shut you down for the lack of a permit.
Other notable changes include a ban on early cancellation fees for terminating a lost loved one’s utility bills, and all state agencies are now only allowed to fly Illinois and American flags made in the USA.
Juneteenth will become an officially recognized holiday on June 19th.
One other new law lowers the registration fee for trailers weighing less than 3,000 lbs. from $118 to $36.
A list of the laws going into effect can be found here.