June 3, 2017
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Springfield IL – The Illinois House voted 61-53 May 30 to pass a bill that would raise the state’s minimum wage from $8.25 an hour to $15 in 2022.
“I think we can all agree that that’s a substandard wage; that is not an amount that you could take care of yourself on, let alone provide for a family,” Rep. Will Guzzardi (D-Chicago), the bill’s sponsor, said of the current minimum. Gov. Bruce Rauner has not said whether he would sign it if it passes the state Senate; he has said he would support raising the minimum if the bill included other pro-business provisions. The measure offers tax credits to businesses with 50 or fewer employees to help them cover the increased labor costs, and workers under 18 wouldn’t get the full raise. Mark Grant, state director for the National Federation of Independent Business, urged Rauner to veto it, saying the tax credits “wouldn’t come close to making up for a nearly 82% increase in the state minimum wage.” SEIU Healthcare Illinois President Greg Kelley called the bill “a historic step” to “building our economy from the bottom up, instead of placing our faith in the misguided hope that prosperity will trickle down.” Read more