Illinois Senate proposes $15 minimum wage

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – Business interests are suggesting ways to minimize the impact of increasing Illinois’ minimum wage while Democrats in the Legislature rush to send a plan to Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

The Senate Labor Committee heard a measure Wednesday to increase the minimum wage to $15. It has been $8.25 since 2010. Senate Majority Leader Kimberly Lightford hasn’t fleshed out her proposal. But the Maywood Democrat says Pritzker wants to sign a law before he presents an annual budget in February.

Rob Karr is president and CEO of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association. He suggests a tiered scale based on living costs in different parts of the state. New York and Oregon have adopted such approaches.

Karr also recommended an extended phase-in period for reaching $15.

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