Just three new state laws took effect in Illinois on Jan. 1, 2021 compared to the more than 250 laws that took effect at the start of 2020.
The three new laws establish a price cap for insulin for those with state-regulated health care plans, offer additional confidentiality protections to stalking and sexual assault victims, and make it easier to collect DNA from family members of missing or unidentified dead people.
The Illinois General Assembly stopped business in March after Gov. J.B. Pritzker issued a statewide disaster declaration in response to the spread of COVID-19. Since then it has only convened once for a four-day emergency session in Springfield in late May.
That produced a budget, several emergency measures like one-time election adjustments set to automatically expire, and an opportunity for local governments to conduct public business and meet remotely under the Open Meetings Act.
But an effort to allow state legislators to vote remotely failed by one vote in the Illinois House, which has not convened since May 24.
The three new laws taking effect in January 2021 passed in 2019.
On May 30, 2019, lawmakers in both houses unanimously passed bills amending the Missing Persons Identification Act and the Address Confidentiality for Victims of Domestic Violence Act, while allows people to apply to the attorney general’s office for their home, school or work addresses to be kept confidential and to use a substitute mailing address.
House Bill 2818 changes the name of the law to the Address Confidentiality for Victims of Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, or Stalking Act, defines the terms sexual assault and stalking, and makes corresponding changes to the Election Code.
House Bill 2708, which adds to missing person procedures, allows family members of missing people to voluntarily submit DNA samples and police to collect samples when people go missing. Local law enforcement agencies must also now submit information to the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System, or NamUs, and can submit DNA samples to an outside partner lab for indexing instead of having to immediately forward them to the state police. The effective date of the law was pushed back by 12 months by an amendment of the Senate Local Government Committee.
The only one of the three to provoke any opposition was Senate Bill 667, which caps out-of-pocket costs for people with state-regulated health insurance plans at $100 per 30 day supply. The bill passed the Senate 43-1 and won House approval by a vote of 100-13 with one state rep voting present.
While there are an estimated 1.3 million diabetic Illinois adults, it is not clear how many will be affected by the cap, since it does not impact federally regulated health insurance like self-insurance plans, Medicare and Medicaid.