2021 New Laws in Illinois – Part I

Scrabble letters against wood spelling 'law'

As things begin to return to normal, there has been a flurry of work by our Illinois legislators. To help you to understand the changing laws, we will provide a number of posts to alert you to laws that will affect many of our clients.

Amends the Civil Administrative Code of Illinois to include details for people with a criminal conviction who are applying to get a license, registration, or certificate. (HB 14)

Under the new law, IDFPR is now required to provide a notification to all applicants who are refused a license, certification, or grant registration because the applicant has at least one criminal conviction. The notification must explain why the conviction directly prevented the applicant from being able to acquire the license, registration, or certificate they had applied for.

IDFPR also must include on its website information regarding how the licenses they issue could be affected by an applicant’s criminal history. Each license must include current information on why an applicant would be prohibited from taking a position that requires the license for which they are applying.

HB 279 provides better protection for people with gluten allergies who have to take medication.

This bill ensures that all orally administered drugs are properly branded, addressing a concern for people who are allergic to gluten. All drugs must include details on whether or not they contain gluten. If a drug contains gluten, but fails to include a warning for consumers that the medication has gluten, it will be considered misbranded. Even if gluten is an inactive ingredient, consumers must be warned for the drug to be considered properly branded.

Enabling Telehealth Services for Optometrists (SB 567)

This is one of a series of legislative efforts to address healthcare as a result of COVID-19.  The bill allows optometrists to provide telehealth services. Telehealth services have been allowed for several other medical fields, but this is the first time in Illinois that telehealth has been extended to eye care.

With roughly half of the US accessing telehealth services during the pandemic, many legislatures began to consider allowing more medical services to be provided remotely so that people were able to remain safe. These changes are also more convenient for Americans as they may not be able to make appointments as easily in person as life resumes a more normal cadence.

The new bill requires that optometrists who offer telehealth services continue to meet the standards of care and practice that in-person providers meet. They must also have an existing relationship with patients; in other words, the patient must have had at least one in-person office visit before they can access telehealth services with an optometrist. If patients change doctors, they will need to complete an in-person visit before they qualify for telehealth services with their new provider.

If a patient needs a prescription for vision correction (contacts or glasses), that exam must be done in person.

Jordan Matyas

Jordan Matyas

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Jordan Matyas is a lawyer, lobbyist, and Founder of 1818 Legal, an Illinois professional licensing defense law firm he created in 2014. With more than 18 years of experience practicing law, he represents clients in a wide range of legal matters, including professional license defense, administrative law, land use and zoning, and state, local, and municipal law.

Jordan received his Juris Doctor from the University of Illinois — Chicago School of Law and is a member of the Illinois Bar Association.