illinois laws

From gas taxes to minimum wage, here are changes coming on July 1 in Illinois

The minimum wage will rise in Chicago and Cook County, while the statewide gasoline tax will rise

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While most new laws in the state of Illinois take effect on Jan. 1, there are a number of measures that will begin to impact the lives of thousands of state residents when the calendar flips to July.

Whether it’s increases to the state’s gas tax, or upticks in the minimum wage in Illinois’ largest city and county, there are plenty of changes looming next week across the state.

Here are some of the big ones to keep an eye on.

Minimum Wage Increasing in Chicago, Cook County

While Illinois’ minimum wage will not go up, residents in Cook County and Chicago will see higher minimum wages starting on July 1.

According to city officials, the minimum wage in Chicago will rise to $16.20 an hour, up from $15.80. That number increases annually according to the Consumer Price Index or a rate of 2.5%, whichever is lower, according to officials.

What’s more, the minimum wage for tipped workers will rise to $11.02 an hour, and over the next five years will continue rising until it is equal to the regular minimum wage, according to the city.

In suburban Cook County, the minimum wage will rise to $14.05 for non-tipped workers, according to officials. The rate will remain $8.40 per hour for tipped employees.

In the rest of Illinois, the minimum wage rose to $14 an hour on Jan. 1.

Paid Leave Coming to Chicago

Chicago workers will also have increased access to guaranteed paid leave, with employees who work at least 80 hours within a 120-day period eligible for up to five days of paid leave and five days of paid sick leave.

According to the city, employees accrue at a rate of one hour of sick leave for every 35 hours worked. They must be allowed to use accrued sick leave no later than on the 30th day of employment. Employees can carry over 80 hours of leave between 12-month periods.

Chicago’s One Fair Wage ordinance, set to take effect next month, will increase the minimum wage for thousands of service industry workers currently earning sub-minimum wages. Over the next five years, these workers will see their base pay rise to $15.80 an hour, with additional earnings from tips.

Gas Taxes to Increase in Illinois

At the state level, the tax assessed on various types of fuel will rise on July 1, with prices increasing at pumps around that time.

According to the Illinois Department of Revenue, the tax on gasoline will rise from $0.454 cents per gallon to $0.47, an increase of just over 3.5%.

The state’s tax on diesel fuel will rise from $0.529 per gallon to $0.545, an increase of just over 3%, officials said.

Increases in fuel taxes occur at the start of each new fiscal year under a piece of legislation passed in 2019. After pausing the increase in July 2022, the state has now bumped up the gas tax on three occasions, with the uptick calculated each year based on inflation.

New Laws Hit the Books in Illinois

Several changes are coming to Illinois on July 1, including a program that will offer driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants.

According to the text of HB 3882, individuals seeking a license must pass a driving test, have valid car insurance, be able to present identification documents, and must be able to prove residency of at least one year within the state of Illinois.

Another change will come via the Freelance Worker Protection Act, which obligates companies to pay freelance workers in a timely fashion, among other requirements.

The bill also enhances protections for freelance workers against threats and intimidation, and codifies ways to report violations to the Illinois Department of Labor.

Finally, a new bill will protect “child influencers” who become popular on social media. The legislation, SB 1782, entitles children under the age of 16 to receive a portion of their gross earnings, with parents required to maintain records of children’s appearances on social media. Those earnings must be set aside in a trust fund until the child turns 18, according to officials.

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