In November, Democrats regained supermajorities in both chambers of the General Assembly, improving the chances of Gov.-elect J.B. Pritzker signing off on some of the flagship proposals of his campaign, such as legalizing recreational marijuana and putting a progressive income tax plan on the ballot for voters to consider.
Lawmakers also managed to pass 253 new pieces of legislation that went into effect, with changes ranging from what kind of car seats children sit in to how long an individual must wait before he or she can buy a firearm.
In the aftermath of fatal school shootings in Maryland, Kentucky, Texas, Florida and other parts of the country in 2018, Illinois lawmakers passed several bills to help students and staff better prepare in the event of such a tragedy.
House Bill 4658 requires licensed school personnel and administrators who work with K-12 students to be trained once every two years on how to identify and address the warning signs of mental illness and suicidal behavior in youth.
Senate Bill 2350 requires active shooter or threat safety drills within 90 days of the start of the school year. Drills must be conducted at times where students are present. All school personnel and students must participate, and local law enforcement officials must observe the drill.