Stephens-Backed Bills for Young Entrepreneurs, Police & Fire Widows, & More Now Law

CHICAGO – On Friday, Governor Pritzker signed multiple pieces of legislation into law, four of which were co-sponsored by State Representative Brad Stephens (R-Rosemont). Senate Bills 2984, 3132, and 4053 and House Bill 5254 were all signed into law last week.

“When we work across the aisle and with elected officials across our state, we can craft legislation that helps Illinoisans in a broad and impactful way,” said Rep. Stephens. “From reforms to help individuals with disabilities, to increasing annuities for widows of our fallen heroes, to helping women needing hormone treatment during menopause, we are improving our state through the legislative process. These new laws will make a difference for so many Illinoisans and I was proud to co-sponsor them in bill form this spring.”

Senate Bill 2984 (now Public Act 102-0821) includes “youth entrepreneurs” as a group of individuals who are to be trained under “entrepreneurship assistance centers.” These centers train women, individuals with disabilities, minority group members, veterans, and dislocated workers the principles and the practice of entrepreneurship. The act defines “youth entrepreneur” as individuals between ages 16 and 29 years old seeking the community support in order to start a business in the state of Illinois.

Senate Bill 3132 (now Public Act 102-0826) amends the Rehabilitation of Persons with Disabilities Act to allow spouses of eligible recipients to serve as the provider of their personal care or similar services. Eligible recipients are recipients of services intended to prevent unnecessary institutionalization who meet the criteria for disability or blindness that enables them to remain at home. This criteria is defined by the Social Security Act. A spouse’s service as the provider of personal care is subject to federal approval.

Senate Bill 4053 (now Public Act 102-0884) updates the Illinois Pension Code to increase the minimum widow’s annuity for police and fire widows to be no less than 150% (from no less than 125%) of the Federal Poverty Level, beginning January 1st. This law also places an end date on the minimum widow’s annuity at no less than 125% on January 1st, 2023 for both police and fire widows.

House Bill 5254 (now Public Act 102-0804) adds coverage for hormone therapy that is medically necessary for menopause treatment induced by a hysterectomy to the Illinois Insurance Code. This coverage begins on January 1st, 2024.

All four of these bills received robust and bipartisan support in both chambers of the General Assembly.