250 new laws will greet Illinoisans January 1, but none slow the state’s steep decline

By Ted Dabrowski:

Do a quick scan of the 255 new laws taking effect in Illinois on January 1 and it won’t take you long to realize that Illinois pols have done nothing to fix the state’s broader mess. None of those laws stop the Illinois’ deep fiscal dive and the record flight of its residents.

For sure, a few laws are easy to support, like the doubling of burial benefits for first responders killed in the line of duty. But the majority just take care of special interest groups or add mandates to Illinois’ already inefficient governments. And the stuff that affects everyone – from property tax relief to pension reform to local government consolidation – is nowhere to be seen.

I’m not recommending you take out hours of your last precious days in 2019 to read a bunch of laws. Fortunately, ABC7 compiled a short description of each law so you can give them a skim. I’ve linked them at the end of this piece.

Yeah, there’s the new cannabis law everyone already knows about. Minimum wages are going up to $9.25 from $8.25. And there’s also new licensing requirements for Chinese Herbologists and a “Healthy Pet Month” designation for the month of April.

But pensions? They are mentioned just six times in the ABC7 summary, but not as part of any reform. One law says pension five times, but it’s just a broader bill on unclaimed property within the retirement funds. The sixth time the word pension was mentioned was only as part of the longer word sus(pension).

Property tax relief? Hah. Nothing.

Overall tax relief? The opposite. Expect to pay more as there are lots of new fees, mandates and regulations.

Collective bargaining reforms to lower the cost of government? Expect the public sector unions to have more power over the ordinary Illinoisan. And that means higher costs at the state and local levels.

Read more: Wirepoints