Illinois House approves $15 per hour minimum wage increase


The Illinois House of Representatives has passed legislation Thursday to increase the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour.

The bill was co-sponsored by Sen. Martin Sandoval (D-Chicago) who said, “As legislators, we are committed to guaranteeing a living wage and protecting the dignity of workers,” Sandoval said. “I’m glad to see that the House followed our lead in approving this historic legislation recognizing the benefits this bill will bring to working class families in Illinois.”

The bill would increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025. The first increase will take effect on January 1st, 2020 to a minimum wage of $9.25.

The bill now awaits Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s signature.

On Thursday, Pritzker applauded the bill’s passage, saying “Today is resounding victory for the 1.4 million Illinoisans who will soon get a hard-earned and well-deserved raise. 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. Whether you’re a home healthcare provider in McLeansboro or a janitor in Rockford, hardworking men and women across Illinois deserve a raise and will get one. After campaigning on a promise to put Springfield back on the side of working families, I will proudly sign this historic legislation in the days to come.”

House Speaker Mike Madigan said, “Today we made history in Illinois by increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour for the hardest working people in our state. We heard from people across Illinois and took their message to heart. I’m proud we passed this critical legislation today to give our working families a long overdue raise. Supporting a higher wage means a host of benefits for our state, including better-paying jobs, increased consumer spending and a growing economy. I applaud Governor Pritzker for his leadership. As Illinois takes this historic step, we can be assured that we are improving the lives of workers in every corner of our state, providing them an opportunity to enhance their lives and better support their families.”

The Illinois Manufacturers Association says the minimum wage increase ignores the concerns of manufacturers.

“This is an unfortunate outcome for Illinois manufactures and businesses, many of which will now be forced to make some tough decisions that could impact the lives of their employees and the ability to keep their lights on. The IMA and the business community offered real alternatives to help mitigate the negative impact of increasing the minimum wage by 82 percent, but lawmakers ignored our suggestions and concerns,” said Mark Denzler, president and CEO of the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association. “Moving forward, there must be room for serious compromise on issues directly impacting employers to prevent Illinois from losing more businesses and residents to our neighboring states.” 

The Illinois Retail Merchants Association also critized the bill, saying, “On behalf of the retail community, we are disappointed that a readily achievable compromise was not adopted on such an important matter. We thank the many employers who bravely came forward to share their concerns about the specific impacts of this legislation as they asked lawmakers to appreciate the economic diversity of our state,” said Rob Karr, president & CEO, Illinois Retail Merchants Association. “Still, we are hopeful that the failure to embrace genuine and achievable compromise on this legislation is not an indication of further things to come.” 

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