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Axios News salutes Gov Fatso

Illinois is the only Midwest state losing population and jobs. Where are all these people and jobs going? To Right to Work states (dominated by the South) where local government encourages businesses to thrive with favorable taxes, less crime, lower cost of living, and providing workers the option to join unions or not.

Most of the stuff Pritzker did will incentivize businesses and residents to leave the state. As both leave tax revenue falls and Gov Refrigerator needs to raise taxes...badabing.

Gov. JB Pritzker and lawmakers were busy in 2023, passing more than 300 new laws that went into effect yesterday.

Why it matters: The legislation affects everything from minimum wage to health insurance to bears. Yes, bears.

💪🏻 Workers' rights

Paid leave: All Illinois workers are now guaranteed up to 40 hours of paid leave.

Of note: Chicago also passed one of the nation's most expansive workers time-off policies last year, guaranteeing all workers at least 10 days off each year. However, the ordinance has been delayed from taking effect until this July.

Minimum wage: Illinois workers paid the minimum wage will get a slight boost to $14 per hour, $8.40 for tipped workers.

Of note: Chicago approved a measure last year to phase out the minimum wage for tipped workers. Under the plan, the tipped minimum wage will rise to 68% of the full minimum wage on July 1 and increase each year until 100% is reached by 2028.

⚕️Health care

Telehealth coverage: Telehealth services for mental health treatment will be covered under Medicaid.

Electronic cigarettes: E-cigs and vapes are prohibited inside public places and within 15 feet of entrances.

🏡 Housing

Service shutoffs: Utility providers can no longer terminate service for nonpayment of bills when the temperature exceeds 90 degrees.

📚 Education

Book bans: Illinois has adopted the American Library Association's Library Bill of Rights, which states that materials should not be removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval and prohibits the practice of banning specific books or resources.

State of play: Illinois became the first state to enact a law penalizing state-funded institutions for book bans.

Overdose prevention: All public schools, charter schools, and nonpublic schools are required to maintain a supply of a medication used to reverse an opioid overdose.

High schools are also mandated to teach students about the dangers of fentanyl in all state-required health courses.

🐻 And … bears

It's now a Class B misdemeanor for any person, except for certain exempted people, to come into contact with a bear or nonhuman primate.

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