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Illinois Takes First Step Towards $15 Minimum Wage

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The proposal cleared a House committee Wednesday and will head to the full House for a vote.

ChicagoTribune – The House Labor and Commerce Committee voted 17 to 6 to recommend HB 198, which would increase the state’s hourly minimum wage from its current lovel of $8.25 to $15 by 2022. The first increase, to $9 an hour, would go into effect Jan. 1.

There is a unique portion of the bill that would allow a small business a tax credit in proportion to the rise in wages. This credit would however shrink each year down to the maximum of 5% by the year 2022.

The bill is expected to clear the house and eventually end up on Governor Rauner’s desk where most analysts expect it to be rejected and the whole process will begin again. Rauner has said he does support a wage hike but not as large and over a longer period of time.

The fact is that the current minimum wage has been at $8.25 since 2010 and a future raise is inevitable. $8.25 an hour is clearly not enough to live on. While $15 is probably wishful thinking on behalf of the house committee it’s a starting point that will be debated in Springfield for months to come.


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