With the New Year, comes new laws that were passed in the General Assembly and take effect January 1, 2019. Assistant House Minority Leader Norine Hammond (R-Macomb) sponsored or supported several of the bills that were signed into law. These include bills for small technical corrections as well as legislation that will have a significant impact statewide. Below is a recap of the new laws that will be on the books.
Out of state National Guard members gain state employment preference
Sponsored by Rep. Hammond
(Public Act 100-826, House Bill 4288)
Individuals who served in the National Guard, regardless of their home state, will now qualify for a state employment preference. Individuals who served in the Illinois National Guard will be given preference over out of state candidates.
New protections for health care professionals
(Public Act 100-1051, House Bill 4100)
This new law responds to a 2017 incident involving an inmate from the Kane County Jail, who took two nurses captive while receiving treatment at a hospital. The legislation seeks to help protect health care professionals by requiring all hospitals and health care facilities to institute workplace violence prevention programs that align with OSHA guidelines for preventing workplace violence for health care workers. The law also sets forth requirements for the custodial escort of inmates and requires that hospitals and medical facilities to establish protocols for the receipt of incarcerated persons. It also requires the Department of Corrections (DOC) and the Department of Juvenile Justice to provide two guards to each inmate who is delivered for medical treatment, with some exceptions.
Addressing medical record availability for homeless and indigent veterans
(Public Act 100-814, House Bill 4848)
A homeless veteran or authorized legal representative of a said veteran is now allowed to obtain a copy of the patient’s medical record free of charge if the records are being used for supporting a claim for federal vet disability benefits. Medical records often serve to support homeless veterans’ federal disability claims.
Grants to increase trades in manufacturing
(Public Act 100-679, House Bill 4858)
Local school districts and community colleges will be allowed to apply for and receive grants for the acquisition of land, construction of facilities, and purchase of equipment, dedicated solely to the instruction of occupations in manufacturing. This law will help community colleges obtain the infrastructure necessary to educate future generations in manufacturing trades and technical skills.
Emergency Opioid and Addiction Treatment Access Act
(Public Act 100-1023, Senate Bill 682)
This new act will serve as a key component to address Illinois’ opioid crisis by providing people in need immediate access to outpatient treatment. Currently, individuals experiencing an opioid overdose or reaction must wait for their treatment to be approved by their insurance plan before entering a facility. The legislation removes prior authorization barriers so people do not have to wait for treatment. In the event the insurance company denies treatment, SB 682 requires the insurance plan to cover outpatient treatment for 72 hours while the patient challenges the denial.
Grandparent visitation rights clarified
(Public Act 100-706, Senate Bill 2498)
This change to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act makes changes to the process for petitions for visitation. It clarifies that if the petitioner for visitation is a grandparent or great-grandparent, the parent-child relationship needs only to be legally established with respect to the parent of the grandchild or great-grandchild who is related to the grandparent or great-grandparent. It makes a similar clarification regarding step-parents.
Addressing the early childhood teacher shortage
(Public Act 100-822, Senate Bill 3536)
This new law makes changes to the alternative educator licensure program to allow individuals seeking the alternative provisional educator endorsement the opportunity to be reviewed, evaluated and recommended to continue seeking the endorsement by a principal or qualified equivalent. The law seeks to address the early childhood teacher shortage by allowing multiple avenues to achieve full early childhood educator licensure.
Service Member Employment and Reemployment Rights Act
(Public Act 100-1101, Senate Bill 3547)
The Service Member Employment and Reemployment Rights Act consolidates all Illinois laws providing employment protections to Illinois service-members into a new Act, with changes to training, compensation, probationary periods, and leave for both active and inactive military personnel.
Cancer patient fertility preservation
(Public Act 100-1102, House Bill 2617)
This Act requires Illinois insurance providers to cover fertility preservation for cancer patients or any other patient who undergoes a necessary medical treatment that directly or indirectly causes iatrogenic infertility.
To view the full list of all 253 new laws coming in the New Year, click here.
For more information on any of these laws, visit www.ilga.gov. If you have a question or would like more information on a specific new law, please call Representative Hammond’s District Office at (309) 836-2707.