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Illinois Senate approves minimum wage increase

State Journal Register

Thursday, February 7, 2019  |  Article  |  By Staff Report

Minimum Wage (10)

Illinois Senate voted 39-18 Thursday to raise the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025.


Supporters of the increase said it is a matter of fairness for low-wage workers who haven’t seen an increase in the minimum wage since 2010 when the last of a series of increases pushed the wage to $8.25.


Opponents worry about the effect on state government finances and Illinois businesses.


If signed into law as-is, Illinois’ minimum wage would go up to $9.25 an hour on Jan. 1 and then to $10 an hour on July 1, 2020. The wage would increase another $1 every Jan. 1 until it hits $15 an hour in 2025.


Among senators representing the Springfield area, Sen. Andy Manar, D-Bunker Hill, voted for it, while Sens. Steve McClure, R-Springfield, and Bill Brady, R-Bloomington, voted against it.


After the vote, representatives of manufacturing and retailers reiterated their concern about the current form of the bill and urged lawmakers to consider compromises.


“Manufacturers across Illinois are alarmed by the Senate’s quick approval of legislation to raise the minimum wage across the state. This is particularly concerning for employers outside Chicago, where the cost of living is lower and it will be more difficult to absorb this 82 percent wage hike over a short five year period of time,” said Mark Denzler, president and CEO of the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association.


The bill now moves to the House.


More soon.