Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern


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New laws for the new year: Six laws affecting Evanston residents in 2024

New+laws%2C+ordinances+and+legal+changes+rang+in+the+new+year%2C+including+a+higher+minimum+wage+and+electronic-smoking+restrictions.+
Daily file illustration by Carly Schulman
New laws, ordinances and legal changes rang in the new year, including a higher minimum wage and electronic-smoking restrictions.

More than 300 laws took effect in Illinois on Monday. Here are six that will significantly impact Evanston residents. 

Fair Workweek

Evanston’s Fair Workweek Ordinance, passed in 2023 by City Council, requires employers to offer a reliable work schedule and provide “predictability pay,” which compensates workers for changes to schedules made with less than two weeks’ notice, along with other workshift protections

Businesses in the hospitality, retail, building services, warehouse services and manufacturing industries are impacted only if they have more than 100 workers globally. Food service businesses must have more than 200 workers and 30 locations globally.

The ordinance also protects employees against possible retribution from requesting these practices.

Minimum Wage

Illinois minimum wage increased to $14 on Monday, a one-dollar bump from 2023, as part of a plan for a $15 minimum wage in 2025.

Evanston City Council is currently debating new minimum wage plans, but is on track with Cook County’s wage requirements to be at $14.05 by July.

Book Ban Prohibition

Illinois House Bill 2789, signed in June, became the first law in the country to outlaw banning books and resources in public libraries based on partisan or doctrinal reasons. 

The law comes amid efforts across the country to remove certain material from public schools and libraries, usually material describing different races, genders and sexual orientations. Illinois Secretary of State and State Librarian Alexi Giannoulias, who backed the law, said he trusts librarians to determine the books that should be in circulation. 

According to the law, Illinois public libraries that do not comply will also become ineligible for state funding.

Car Theft Hotline

Illinois House Bill 2245 requires car manufacturers in counties with 3 million people or more to collaborate with law enforcement to create a 24/7 car theft hotline, which will use the stolen vehicle’s global positioning system to track its location. 

The law also requires the manufacturer to waive fees for the vehicle location service during an investigation. 

According to Evanston police, there was a 66% increase in vehicle thefts year-over-year, up from 152 in 2022 to 253 in 2023. Overall, many major U.S. cities, including Chicago and Atlanta, almost doubled in auto thefts in 2023. 

Vape-Free Zones

Illinois House Bill 1540 amends the Smoke-Free Illinois Act of 2008 to include electronic smoking devices. In an effort to reduce the presence of secondhand smoke, the act bans smoking an electronic device in and within 15 feet of employment and public places like hospitals, restaurants, theaters, concert halls, meeting rooms and elevators. 

Picket Interference

Similarly, Illinois House Bill 3396 amends the Labor Disputes Act by prohibiting people from placing an object or barrier with the intent to disrupt a picket or protest. This disruption would be a Class A misdemeanor, a criminal offense punishable by up to a $2,500 fine and a year in jail.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @shreyasrin 

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New year, new laws: Nine laws affecting Evanston residents in 2023

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