Illinois’ Minimum Wage to Increase Twice Next Year Beginning Jan. 1

Illinois’ Minimum Wage to Increase Twice Next Year Beginning Jan. 1

ILLINOIS (IRN) — In less than a month employers with minimum-wage employees in Illinois will have to raise wages.

The state’s minimum wage is on its way to $15 an hour by 2025. Beginning on New Year’s Day, the minimum wage goes up from $8.25 to $9.25 an hour. There will be a second increase to $10 an hour on July 1, 2020. Then $1 more per year until the minimum wage hits $15 an hour.

“It took years of advocacy by so many people across the state and a willingness by businesses to sit at the bargaining table to hash out a deal so that the people of Illinois wouldn’t have to wait any longer,” Gov. J.B. Pritzker when he signed the bill into law in February.

He thanked unions and other groups that pushed for increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour, including SEIU, AFL-CIO and the Illinois Restaurant Association.

State Rep. Brad Halbrook, R-Shelbyville, voted against the measure.

“There could be an argument to say we needed to increase to some extent, but just to put these numbers into place,” Halbrook said. “In Central Illinois and most of Illinois, the labor market was in pretty good order. Our convenience stores are starting people at $10, $10.50 – way above the minimum wage now.”

He said there should have been a slower ramp and regional consideration.

“Prices that people have to pay in some parts of the state are much different than other parts of the state,” Halbrook said. “That’s pretty easy to figure out.”

Halbrook said it will make Illinois less competitive.

“It puts us at a disadvantage to all our neighboring states that have minimum wages that are going to be much less than that,” Halbrook said.

Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky and Wisconsin all have a $7.25 minimum wage. Missouri’s is $8.25.

Convenience store groups have said stores at Illinois’ borders could get hit while they’re also dealing with higher gas taxes than some neighboring states.

Others raised concerns before the measure passed about the cost the minimum wage increase will have on local taxpayers because public schools and nonprofit groups will have to increase spending to cover the wage increases.

The law provides small businesses and nonprofits with a tax credit.

Advocacy groups and supporters of the increase have said the minimum wage should allow employees to support a family.

“The historic legislation gives 1.4 million Illinoisans a hard-earned and well-deserved raise,” Pritzker’s office said.

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