July 1 Brings Major Changes to Illinois: Gas Tax, Minimum Wage, and Driver’s Licenses Among Updates

July 1 brings significant changes across Illinois and parts of the Chicago area, ranging from financial adjustments to new laws impacting various sectors.

While January 1 typically heralds the start of new legislation, July 1 introduces several impactful laws this year. These changes encompass a wide spectrum, from economic shifts to pivotal societal updates.

Here’s a breakdown of what’s new in Illinois as of July 1:

Illinois Gas Tax Increase Motorists in Illinois will experience higher fuel prices with the state’s gas tax rising by just over 3.5%. The tax on gasoline will increase from $0.454 to an even $0.47 per gallon, while diesel fuel taxes will rise from $0.529 to $0.545 per gallon. After a pause in 2022 due to inflation concerns, this marks the third recent increase in the state’s gas tax.

Paid Leave for Chicago Workers Chicago employees now have expanded access to paid leave benefits. Eligible workers, who have worked at least 80 hours within a 120-day period, can accrue up to five days of paid leave and five days of sick leave. The accrual rate is set at one hour of sick leave for every 35 hours worked, with accrued leave usable within 30 days of employment and up to 80 hours carried over between 12-month periods.

Minimum Wage Increases While Illinois’ minimum wage remains steady, Cook County and Chicago will see rises. Chicago’s minimum wage increases to $16.20 per hour from $15.80, annually adjusted based on the Consumer Price Index or a 2.5% rate, whichever is lower. Tipped workers will see their minimum wage rise to $11.02 per hour, gradually aligning with the regular minimum wage over the next five years. In suburban Cook County, non-tipped workers will see their minimum wage increase to $14.05 per hour, while tipped employees will maintain a rate of $8.40 per hour.

Other Significant Changes Several other laws take effect on July 1:

  • Driver’s Licenses for Undocumented Immigrants: Undocumented immigrants in Illinois can now obtain driver’s licenses, aimed at enhancing road safety and reducing stigma.
  • Freelance Worker Protection Act: Enhancements in protections and payment timelines for freelance workers.
  • Child Labor Protections for Social Media Influencers: Legal protections and trust account requirements for child influencers.
  • School Assessment Test Contract Approval: Public votes required before school boards approve new assessment test contracts.

These updates reflect Illinois’ ongoing commitment to legislative evolution, impacting both daily life and broader societal frameworks across the state. For a comprehensive list of new laws taking effect on July 1, including provisions for a Creative Economy Task Force and updates to student loan repayment programs, visit the Illinois General Assembly’s website.

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