Illinois Senate committee OKs $15 minimum wage

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Latest on the General Assembly’s action on the minimum wage (all times local):

4:45 p.m.

A Senate committee has OK’d increasing the minimum wage in Illinois to $15 in six years.

Majority Leader Kimberly Lightford’s measure won approval 13-6 on a party-line vote Wednesday in the Executive Committee. The Maywood Democrat hedged on calling it for a floor vote immediately.

The plan would increase the minimum wage from $8.25 an hour to $9.25 on Jan. 1, 2020. After going to $10 on July 1, 2020, it would increase $1 each Jan. 1 until 2025.

New Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker campaigned on the plan and has asked Democrats who control the General Assembly to send him a bill to sign by the time he lays out his budget proposal in two weeks.

Republicans oppose the idea. They say it increases too quickly for businesses to absorb the cost. The Illinois Retail Merchants’ Association wants to see wages tiered to varying costs of living across the state. Lightford says she’s still open to the idea.

The full Senate is expected to vote on the bill on Thursday.

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The bill is SB1 .

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4:55 a.m.

A Senate Democrat plans to push for a phased-in $15 minimum wage in Illinois.

Majority Leader Kimberly Lightford of Maywood says she’ll likely present her legislation Wednesday to the Executive Committee.

It would increase the state’s minimum wage from $8.25 per hour to $15 over six years.

It would apply statewide. Business groups protest that the minimum wage should be tiered to reflect differing economies throughout Illinois.

Lightford said last week she fears a worker in central Illinois making less than one in Chicago would not have the same opportunity to escape poverty.

Lightford last won an increase in 2006. It topped out at $8.25 in 2010. Chicago adopted its own path to $15. The minimum in the city moves to $13 this year.

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