CHICAGO (CBS) — An Illinois House committee will hold a hearing on Wednesday to discuss legislation that would gradually increase the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025.
The Labor and Commerce Committee has scheduled a 2 p.m. hearing on Wednesday in Springfield, and the minimum wage proposal is among several items on the agenda.
The Illinois Senate approved the legislation earlier this month, and sent it to the House. If the committee endorses the measure at its meeting on Wednesday, the full House could hold a final vote as early as Thursday.
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.
Raising the state’s minimum wage to $15 per hour is a top priority for newly-elected Gov. JB Pritzker, who has said he hopes to sign a minimum wage hike before his first budget address next week.
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.
In 2017, lawmakers approved legislation to increase the minimum wage in Illinois to $15 an hour by 2022, but Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed it.