SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WEEK) — A proposal to raise the Illinois minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025 is headed to Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s desk.
The Illinois House passed Senate Bill 1 on Thursday. Pritzker is widely expected to sign the bill into law.
“Today is resounding victory for the 1.4 million Illinoisans who will soon get a hard-earned and well-deserved raise,” said Gov. J.B. Pritzker. “After nearly a decade of delay, I applaud the House and Senate for passing a living wage with the fierce urgency this moment requires. Phasing in the minimum wage over the next six years will put $6,300 a year into the pockets of nearly a quarter of our state’s workforce and billions of dollars into local economies in every corner of our state.
“We’re taking bold and decisive action to raise the minimum wage, because for too long we have let people earn poverty wages,” said state Rep. Will Guzzardi (D-Chicago), a chief co-sponsor of the bill in the House.
“Sometimes the most well-intentioned legislation has unintended consequences. This is one of those bills. Helping workers take home more pay to support themselves and their families is a goal we can all applaud, but dramatically increasing the minimum wage will actually hurt more than it helps,” said state Rep. Dan Brady (R-Bloomington). “In states and cities where this has been adopted, small businesses have been forced to cut worker hours, or eliminate some jobs altogether. We should be focusing instead on reducing workers’ tax burden to put more money in their pockets, and helping businesses create more and better-paying jobs in our communities.”
The bill seeks to raise the minimum wage incrementally. The wage would go from the current $8.25 an hour to $9.25 an hour on Jan. 1, 2020. The wage would be raised to $10 an hour that July, then $1 a year every year until 2025.
Despite objections from business groups and Republicans asking for a lower minimum wage downstate where the cost of living is lower, the Democrats who control the General Assembly moved to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour statewide.