Get ready for new laws to ring in the New Year | Gardi & Haught, Ltd.

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new laws new year 2021

Get ready for new laws to ring in the New Year

Every year, without exception, new laws go into effect. Generally, all new laws are passed throughout the year and many laws take effect in mid-summer. Let us look at a couple that we will be dealing with after the new year.

One exciting change in the law is related to college funds. New babies born in Illinois will get $50 deposited in a college savings account. Of course, $50 will not be sending little junior to college, not even with 18 years of compounding interest. But it is a nice primer for parents to start the long-term savings goal of higher education. 

Keeping with the theme of fiscal responsibility, minimum wage is going up. On Jan. 1, 2021, minimum wage will be $11 an hour. By the time we get to New Year’s Day 2025, minimum wage will be $15 per hour.

Not a Jan.  1 debut, but beginning Oct.  1, 2021, the federal government will require that your driver’s license should be a Real ID, for certain purposes, namely flying and entering military bases and federal facilities. To obtain a Real ID, you must provide documentation confirming your identity, Social Security number, residency and signature. Although I believe that most of us will opt to obtain a Real ID, it is not compulsory and you may not necessarily need one, especially since it will not be required for driving.  For example, if you have a valid U.S. passport, or you simply do not fly or visit military bases of federal facilities, then a Real ID is unnecessary.  If you feel that a Real ID is right for you, you will 1.) visit the DMV and take your photo and required exams, 2.) provide proof of identity, 3.) provide proof of a Social Security number, 4.) provide two current residency documents, 5.) provide proof of signature, 6.) receive a temporary driver’s license and 7.) receive your Real ID in about two weeks.  

Of course, for a variety of reasons, sometimes potential new laws fail to take effect.  This year, for example, Illinois voters were asked to amend the constitution and pass a graduated income tax.  That amendment failed, leaving lawmakers scrambling to fill the ever-growing deficit.  Keep a lookout for lawmakers seeking to raise Illinois income tax from about 5% to 6%.  

As outlined above, Gardi & Haught Ltd. continues to stay up to date on all new laws and legal trends. Please contact us to discuss your legal needs.

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