Jan 2, 2024 - News

New Illinois laws to know for 2024

Illustration of the Illinois State Capitol building with lines radiating from it.

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

Gov. JB Pritzker and lawmakers were busy in 2023, passing more than 300 new laws that went into effect Monday.

Why it matters: The legislation affects everything from minimum wage to health insurance to bears. Yes, bears.

Workers' rights

Paid leave: All Illinois workers are now guaranteed up to 40 hours of paid leave.

  • Of note: Chicago also passed one of the nation's most expansive workers time-off policies last year, guaranteeing all workers at least 10 days off each year. However, the ordinance has been delayed from taking effect until this July.

Minimum wage: Illinois workers paid the minimum wage will get a slight boost to $14 per hour, $8.40 for tipped workers.

  • Of note: Chicago approved a measure last year to phase out the minimum wage for tipped workers. Under the plan, the tipped minimum wage will rise to 68% of the full minimum wage on July 1 and increase each year until 100% is reached by 2028, CBS reports.

Health care

Telehealth coverage: Telehealth services for mental health treatment will be covered under Medicaid.

Electronic cigarettes: E-cigs and vapes are prohibited in public places and within 15 feet of entrances.


Electric vehicles: New single-family homes and new residential construction with parking must have at least one EV-capable parking space for each unit.

Air fresheners: The state has decriminalized rearview mirror air fresheners.

Public safety and housing

Service shutoffs: Utility providers can no longer terminate service for nonpayment of bills when the temperature exceeds 90 degrees.


Book bans: Illinois has adopted the American Library Association's Library Bill of Rights, which states that materials should not be removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval and prohibits the practice of banning specific books or resources.

Overdose prevention: All public schools, charter schools, and nonpublic schools are required to maintain a supply of a medication used to reverse an opioid overdose.

  • High schools are also mandated to teach students about the dangers of fentanyl in all state-required health courses.


It's now a Class B misdemeanor for any person, except for certain exempted people, to come into contact with a bear or nonhuman primate.

Details: Sen. Linda Holmes, who sponsored the bill, said the law aims to address animal cruelty. "The public handling and show of these animals continues a cycle of endless breeding where they are born into captivity to be used as props and business commodities," Holmes said in a statement.


Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Chicago.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Chicago stories

No stories could be found


Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Chicago.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more