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$15 minimum wage passes Illinois Senate The vote was 39-18 for the measure, which now goes to the state House.

Crain's Chicago Business

Friday, February 8, 2019  |  Column  |  Brianna Kelly

Minimum Wage (10)

As expected, a measure to nearly double the state’s minimum wage passed easily in the Illinois Senate today after clearing the Senate Executive Committee yesterday.

Illinois senators voted 39-18 to raise the minimum wage from $8.25 to $15 an hour statewide by 2025. Now the bill is set to go to the House, where Speaker Michael Madigan told his caucus he will call and vote for it.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker supports the bill. "Today, the state Senate made it clear that working families in Illinois deserve a raise, and they're going to get one," Pritzker said, according to an excerpt of remarks in an email from his press office.

Under the plan, the wage would rise $1 to $9.25 an hour on Jan. 1, 2020, and another 75 cents on July 1, 2020. Every Jan. 1 thereafter the wage would rise another $1 an hour until it hit $15 on Jan. 1, 2025.

During debate today in Springfield, supporters stressed the need for a higher minimum wage to help people who are living paycheck to paycheck.

Democratic Sen. Toi Hutchinson of Olympia Fields said someone who makes $8.25 an hour can’t afford a market-rate two-bedroom apartment without a subsidy. "If you have ever said, 'Nobody who works full time should live in poverty,' today is your day to do something about it," Hutchinson said.

Opponents expressed concern over the potential adverse effects of a higher minimum wage.

Republican Sen. Jason Barickman of Champaign said he’s worried about “many unintended consequences that may arise from it,” including how the bill would affect educational institutions. He believes universities and colleges could be forced to raise tuition and fees in order to cover the hike.