• New Laws for Illinois for 2021 from Lavelle Law

    A Summary of NEW LAWS in 2020 and Beyond
    Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 was a slow year for the Illinois General Assembly. Most of the new laws for 2021 are modified existing statutes that are meant to provide provisions related to the pandemic. Listed below are some new laws that may have a significant impact on our clients.
    REMOTE WITNESSING AND NOTORIZATION (SB 2135/PA 101-0640) Legislation amends the Electronic Commerce Security Act to authorize remote witnessing and notarizations from March 26, 2020 until 30-days after the expiration of the Governor’s COVID-19 emergency declaration. Additionally, provides for the specific two-way audio-visual requirements needed for proper remote witnessing and notarizations.
    ILLINOIS HEALTH FACILITIES PLANNING ACT (SB 2541/PA 101-0650) Legislation amends the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Act to require that certain health care facilities provide written public notice to relevant municipalities, state representatives, state senators, the State Board, the Director of Public Health, and the Director of Healthcare and Family Services if such healthcare facility intends to close.
    ILLINOIS PUBLIC AID CODE (SB 2541/PA 101-0650) Legislation amends the Illinois Public Aid Code to provide that the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services shall increase reimbursement for physician services to as close to 60% of Medicare rates in effect as of January 1, 2020 utilizing the rates of Illinois Locality 99 facility rates.
    THE PHARMACY PRACTICE ACT (SB 1864/PA 101-0649) The Pharmacy Practice Act is amended so that Offsite Institutional Pharmacies may provide emergency kits to certain Licensed Facilities for which the pharmacy’s primary purpose is to provide services to such facility.
    ILLINOIS GAMBLING ACT (SB 0516/PA 101-0648) The Illinois Gambling Act is amended to require that applicants for riverboat or casino gambling operations must make a public presentation concerning its casino proposal as well as prepare a summary of its casino proposal which must be available on a public website of the municipality or county. Additionally, the license application process shall be extended in the event that the Illinois Gaming Board does not issue all licenses authorized under the Act by June 1, 2020. Lastly, the required privilege tax has been amended.
    ILLINOIS SPORTS WAGERING ACT (SB 0516/PA 101-0648) The Illinois Sports Wagering Act is amended to extend the deadline for payment of the initial Master Sports Wagering License fee until July 1, 2021.
    ILLINOIS SCHOOL CODE (SB 1937/PA 101-0646) Amends the Illinois School Code to provide that Elmwood Park Community Unit School District along with various other downstate school districts may issue bonds if the voters of those districts approve a proposition for bond issuance and certain other conditions are met.
    ILLINOIS LOTTERY LAW (SB 1857/PA 101-0645) The Scratch-Off for Alzheimer’s Care, Support, and Education Game shall be extended until January 1, 2022. 
    ILLINOIS INCOME TAX ACT (SB 1857/PA 101-0645) Legislation amends the Illinois Income Tax Act to extend a provision which grants a tax credit equal to 25% (not to exceed $500) of the value of a matching contribution to either (i) specified individual College Savings Pool Account or (ii) to the Illinois Prepaid Tuition Trust Fund for the taxpayer’s employee through December 30, 2021.
    ILLINOIS PENSION CODE (SB 1857/PA 101-0645) Legislation amends the Illinois Pension Code to extend a provision through June 30, 2021 which allows teachers receiving a retirement annuity, other than a disability annuity, to accept employment from a school board without impairing retirement status so long as the individual (i) does not accept employment in the same school year during which employment was initially terminated, and (ii) does not exceed 120 paid days or 600 paid hours in each school year, but not more than 100 paid days in the same classroom. After June 30, 2021 subsequent employment may not exceed 100 paid days or 500 paid hours in each school year without impairing retirement status.
    REMOTE LEARNING (SB 1569/PA 101-0643) Legislation amends the Illinois School Code to establish requirements that facilitate remote learning in Illinois during the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.
    PROFESSIONAL EDUCATOR LICENSE RENEWAL (SB 1569/PA 101-0643) Legislation amends the Illinois School Code to provide that any professional educator license set to expire on June 30, 2020 which is not renewed before the end of 2020 shall be extended until June 30, 2021.
    FRONTLINE WORKER PROTECTIONS (HB 2455/PA 101-0633) Legislation amends the Worker’s Occupational Diseases Act to create a temporary rebuttable presumption that COVID-19 first responders and frontline workers seeking compensation for COVID-19 related injury were exposed to the disease at work and are entitled to Workers’ Compensation Benefits.
    CORONAVIRUS BUSINESS INTERRUPTION GRANT PROGRAM (HB 0357/PA 101-0636) Legislation creates the Coronavirus Business Interruption Grant Program (“BIG Program”) which allows the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to provide grants and other financial assistance to businesses experiencing interruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
    CURE BORROWING ACT (SB 2099/PA 101-0630) Creates the Coronavirus Urgent Remediation Borrowing Act (“CURE Borrowing Act”) authorizing the State of Illinois to borrow up to $5 Billion from the Federal Reserve’s Municipal Liquidity Facility, provided the funds are used to meet revenue shortfalls resulting from COVID-19.
    BUSINESS ENTERPRISE FOR MINORITIES, WOMEN, AND PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES ACT (SB 0177/PA 101-0601) Amends the Business Enterprise for Minorities, Women, and Persons with Disabilities Act to allow spending under state contracts to count towards the Act’s “aspirational goal” only when made to covered entities performing “commercially useful functions.” Additionally, the legislation requires a registration procedure to recognize the certifications of businesses owned by minorities, women, or persons with disabilities by the City of Chicago and Cook County. The Illinois Department of Central Management Services began accepting applications on July 1, 2020 for FastTrack Certifications showing compliance with this legislation for Chicago and Cook County.
    ILLINOIS INSURANCE CODE (SB 067/PA 101-0600) Amends the Illinois Insurance Code to require that insurers submit annual corporate governance disclosures to the Director of Insurance no later than June 1 of each calendar year.
    ILLINOIS PROPERTY TAX CODE (SB 0685/PA 101-0635) Legislation amends the Illinois Property Tax Code to authorize County Boards outside of Cook County to waive the interest penalty for delinquent property tax payments for the 2019 taxable year. Interest may be waived until the first day of the first month during which there is no longer a Governor’s disaster declaration related to COVID-19. Legislation also postpones the 2020 annual tax sales for the same time period.
    ILLINOIS MECHANICS LIEN ACT (HB 2174/PA 101-0639) Legislation amends the Illinois Mechanics Lien Act to extend a provision that extends the timeframe for completing work for which a mechanics lien is sought to five years when no completion time or payment date is specified in the contract. This provision is extended until December 31, 2021. After December 31, 2021, the five year period will be reduced to three years.
    ILLINOIS LOCAL GOVERNMENT REVENUE RECAPTURE ACT (SB 1881/PA 101-0628) Creates the Illinois Local Government Revenue Recapture Act allowing municipalities and counties to engage third-party auditors to review financial information provided by business taxpayers and ensures that the Department of Revenue has distributed the correct amount of sales and use tax proceeds to the local government. Beginning on January 1, 2021, third-party auditors will need to register annually with the Department of Revenue as well as pay a $15,000 annual registration fee.
    ILLINOIS LIQUOR CONTROL ACT (HB 2682/PA 101-0631) Amends the Liquor Control Act to provide liquor license holders whose business operations have been suspended in any capacity due to an executive order as a result of COVID-19 with the following: (1) establishes that late filing fees shall not apply for a specified period; (2) authorizes the deferral of liquor license fees for a specified period; (3) provides that the renewal of the liquor license shall be automatically approved and the license shall be extended for a specified period; and (4) provides that a retail licensee shall not be deemed to be delinquent in payment until 30 days after the date on which the region in which the retail licensee is located enters Phase 4 of the Governor's Restore Illinois Plan as issued on May 5, 2020.
    INSULIN PRICE CAP (SB 0667/PA 101-0625) Legislation amends the Illinois Insurance Code to provide that state-regulated health insurance plans must place a $100 cap on the out of pocket cost of a 30-day supply of insulin.
    ILLINOIS LICENSE TO WORK ACT (SB 1786/PA 101-0623) Amends the Illinois Vehicle Code to rescind the cancellation and suspension of driver’s licenses in numerous circumstances, including those which were suspended for unpaid fines.
    SENIOR CITIZEN HOMESTEAD TAX EXEMPTIONS (HB 0961/PA 101-0622) Amends the Property Tax Code to provide that individuals who have been granted senior citizen homestead exemptions need not reapply for the taxable years of 2019 through 2023.
    Please reply to this email or contact us at 847-705-7555 to set up a free consultation to discuss how these new laws may affect you or your business. Consultations are available in person as well as virtually.
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