There are several new laws that have taken effect or will take effect in the coming weeks. Out of the nearly 300 new laws, we’ve rounded up the ones that have the most impact on Illinois families.
School absences and mental health
Students ages 7-17 in public and private schools are now allowed five mental health-related absences without a note. Students will be given an opportunity to make up any work they missed.
New history curriculum in public schools
The Teaching Equitable Asian American History requires new history curriculum to teach students about the contributions of Asian-Americans. Illinois will be the first state to require those materials. Additionally, another law requires that history classes must also include instruction about how faith communities have shaped American society. That can include lessons about Muslims, Jews, Christians, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists or any other collective community of faith.
New standards for sex education
Public schools that teach sex education must align their sex education courses with the National Sex Education Standards.
Standardized testing optional
High school students now can choose whether they want to submit a standardized test score when applying to public institutions in the state. This new law requires Illinois public universities to make admissions decisions regardless of ACT or SAT test scores.
Schools will no longer be allowed to ban braids, locks, twists or other hairstyles associated with race or ethnicity. This law stemmed from local mom Ida Nelson, whose son was told by this school that his braid violated school dress code.
Handicap decals for pregnant women
Pregnant women in their third trimester can receive a 90-day disability parking decal from the Secretary of State.
Healthier kids meals at restaurants
The Serve Kids Better Act is part of a broader effort to cut down on sugary drinks. The law requires restaurants to offer water, juice or milk with no added sweeteners as the default option for a kids meal.
No permit required for lemonade stands
Kids under the age of 16 who run lemonade stands or other stands selling non-alcoholic beverages are not required to have a permit to sell in public parks or on private property.
Trampoline courts subject to inspection
As trampoline parks have grown in popularity, the potential for injury has increased. New legislation ensures these facilities and employees meet a new set of industry standards, like those imposed on rides and attractions.
Stricter regulations on youth vaping
In an effort to discourage youth vaping, sellers no longer will be allowed to advertise them as low-risk products. Other laws require the use of a credit card or check in the buyer’s name for online purchases, and allow officials to do compliance checks to ensure vape shops aren’t selling to people under 21.
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