More than 250 new state laws went into effect in Illinois on Jan. 1st. These new laws will impact nearly all Illinois residents. Here are some of them.
Marijuana: The recreational use of cannabis for persons 21 and older will be legal, but individual municipalities may choose to ban its sale within their boundaries. Cannabis will be taxed in a manner similar to alcohol.
Minimum wage: On Jan. 1, the minimum wage in Illinois will increase by $1 to $9.25, and on July 1 will increase by another 75 cents to $10 per hour. Tipped workers can still be paid 60% of the regular minimum wage.
Salary history: Employers may no longer ask potential employees to share information about their wage or salary history.
Sexual harassment training: All employers will be required to provide annual sexual harassment training to their employees.
Cat owners: Pet cats will be required to get rabies inoculations.
Public diaper changing stations: Every public building with a public restroom will be required to have at least one safe, sanitary, convenient and publicly accessible diaper changing station.
Gender-neutral restrooms: Single-occupancy public restrooms can no longer be labeled by gender.
Distracted driving: It will be illegal to watch or stream video while behind the wheel.
School buses: Passing a stopped school bus can result in a $300 fine for the first offense, and $1,000 for the second offense.
Have you signed up for Code RED? The Lake County Public Works Department uses CodeRED to notify its customers by telephone, text message and email about upcoming project work, boil water orders, water main breaks, and other potential service disruptions. You can also use receive alerts via the CodeRED Mobile Alert app. The app is free and available for both Android and iPhone users.