CHICAGO (CBS) — The Illinois Senate has approved legislation that would raise the state’s minimum wage to $15, a priority of newly elected Gov. JB Pritzker, who is hoping to be able to sign the measure before his first budget address.
The Senate voted along party lines to send the proposal to the Illinois House, which could make changes before voting on the bill. Democrats also hold a supermajority in the House.
In 2017, lawmakers approved legislation to increase the minimum wage in Illinois to $15 an hour by 2022, but Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed it.
Pritzker made raising the minimum wage to $15 a top priority during his campaign to defeat Rauner, and has said he hopes to have the legislation on his desk before he delivers his first budget address on Feb. 20.
The state’s current minimum wage is $8.25 an hour, although several municipalities have higher local minimum wages. Chicago’s minimum wage, for example, is $12 per hour, and will go up to $13 per hour on July 1.
The legislation approved by the Illinois Senate would gradually increase the state’s minimum wage for all employees 18 and older over the next several years:
- to $9.25 an hour on Jan. 1, 2020;
- to $10 an hour on July 1, 2020;
- to $11 an hour on Jan. 1, 2021;
- to $12 an hour on Jan. 1, 2022;
- to $13 an hour on Jan. 1, 2023;
- to $14 an hour on Jan. 1, 2024;
- and to $15 an hour on Jan. 1, 2025.
Workers under age 18 currently can be paid 50 cents less than minimum wage, but the proposal would set out a new payscale for younger workers through 2025:
- to $8 an hour on Jan 1, 2020;
- to $8.50 an hour on Jan. 1, 2021;
- to $9.25 an hour on Jan. 1, 2022;
- to $10.50 an hour on Jan. 1, 2023;
- to $12 an hour on Jan. 1, 2024;
- and to $13 an hour on Jan. 1, 2025.
The Illinois Republican Party has criticized the minimum wage legislation, claiming it would “crush small businesses.”
“Pritzker is attempting to ram through this hugely consequential piece of legislation just so he can chalk up a ‘win’ before his first big speech,” spokesman Aaron DeGroot stated in an email.