With the coming of the new year, the state of Illinois has a number of new laws that will be taking effect.

In a recent press release, Quincy Republican State Senator Jil Tracy said the new state laws beginning January 1, 2022, cover a wide variety of subject areas.

Among the highlights:

Minimum Wage - the state minimum wage increases to $12 per hour starting January 1, headed for $15 per hour by 2025.

Changes to the FOID System - those who apply for FOID cards will be encouraged but not required to submit to fingerprinting.

The Illinois State Police can issue a combined FOID Card and concealed carry license.

The state police will be required to set up a public database of all stolen firearms.

Public Safety - Police in counties or cities of 500,000 or more will be required to wear body cameras.

The Stalking/No-Contact Order will be expanded to include contact by email, texts or social media posts.

Education - All Illinois public universities and community colleges must offer a "test-optional" policy as part of the admissions process.

Students will have up to five excused absence days available for mental or behavioral health.

High school ag science courses will now count toward the science requirement for admission into an Illinois public university.

Veterans - Free Gold Star license plates will be offered to surviving widows, widowers or parents of those who lost their lives in the U.S. Armed Forces during wartime.

When any Illinoisan who served in the military dies, a member of the Illinois National Guard will present a State of Illinois flag to the next of kin.

For more information on Illinois laws going into effect January 1, 2022 go to Senator Tracy's website.

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