Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has signed a measure gradually hiking the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025, the highest in the Midwest.
It was one of the new Democratic governor’s top campaign promises. He signed the six-year plan Tuesday at the Governor’s Mansion.
Illinois is on track to be the first state in the Midwest to push its base wage to $15. It increases from $8.25 by $1 on Jan. 1, and jumps to $10 on July 1, 2020. Then, it increases $1 each Jan. 1 until 2025.
Business groups opposed the plan. They wanted a longer phase-in and a regionalized approach with lower minimum wage levels for areas outside Chicago.
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Pritzker noted there are payroll tax credits in the law to ease the transition for employers.
“Businesses large and small, from local restaurants to Amazon, made it clear that hardworking employees should be fairly compensated. And even when we didn’t agree on everything, they were willing to be part of the negotiations to make the minimum wage work in our communities,” Pritzker said.
“Workers across the state and organizations like Fight for 15 and Women Employed rose up and demanded to be heard.
“None of this could have happened without the bold legislators who led the fight in the House and the Senate. I especially want to recognize Senator Kim Lightford, along with Rep. Jay Hoffman, Rep. Will Guzzardi and Rep. Marcus Evans in the House. Each of them played a critical role over years. I’m so proud to stand alongside them in state government as we put Springfield back on the side of working families.
“This is a monumental day for our state, a day that redefines what it means to live and work in Illinois.”