April 24, 2017
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Peoria, IL – With a bill to raise the Illinois minimum wage from $8.25 an hour to $15 now on the state House floor, the measure’s sponsors are touring the state to drum up support.
“The legislature will be on the record saying that $15 an hour is what constitutes a living wage in this state,” lead sponsor Rep. Will Guzzardi (D-Chicago) said at a rally in Peoria Apr. 19, “and that way, when we get a governor in office who’s more willing to respect the needs of working people, we can actually get this thing done.” The bill would raise the minimum, from $8.25, where it’s been for six years, to $9 in January, and bring it up to $15 in 2022. Gov. Bruce Rauner has said he’d support a smaller increase if it were coupled with measures such as cutting workers’ compensation payments and tightening eligibility. Guzzardi said he wants to show people that workers outside the Chicago area need $15 too. Diana Inman, a home-care worker in Decatur, told a rally in Champaign that she has to work two jobs because she makes only $10.35. “If I could get up to $15 an hour, I could drop one of those jobs and leave it open for somebody else,” she said. Read more