Metro-East News

Three metro-east reps vote against minimum wage increase

The Illinois House has approved a proposal that would raise the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour over five years.

House lawmakers voted 61 to 53 Tuesday on SB 81. State Reps. Dan Beiser, D-Alton; Jay Hoffman, D-Swansea; Katie Stuart, D-Edwardsville; and Latoya Greenwood, D-East St. Louis, all voted in favor of the bill. State Reps. John Cavaletto, R-Salem; Charlie Meier, R-Okawville; and Jerry Costello II, D-Smithton, voted against the bill.

Democratic state Rep. Will Guzzardi, of Chicago, says the plan would help working people make ends meet.

Illinois’ minimum wage is $8.25. Under the plan, workers 18 and older would see the wage jump in increments until 2022. The plan also includes a tax credit for businesses with 50 or fewer employees.

Opponents, including retail groups, say increasing the wage hurts businesses.

Republican state Rep. Keith Wheeler, of Oswego, says the plan will make Illinois more uncompetitive.

It’s unclear whether Gov. Bruce Rauner will sign the bill. The Republican has said he’d support a minimum wage increase in conjunction with other regulatory changes.