Illinois Senate committee OKs $15 minimum wage

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – A Senate committee has OK’d increasing the minimum wage in Illinois to $15 in six years.

Majority Leader Kimberly Lightford’s measure won approval 13-6 on a party-line vote Wednesday in the Executive Committee. The Maywood Democrat hedged on calling it for a floor vote immediately.

The plan would increase the minimum wage from $8.25 an hour to $9.25 on Jan. 1, 2020. After going to $10 on July 1, 2020, it would increase $1 each Jan. 1 until 2025.

New Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker campaigned on the plan and has asked Democrats who control the General Assembly to send him a bill to sign by the time he lays out his budget proposal in two weeks.

Republicans oppose the idea. They say it increases too quickly for businesses to absorb the cost. The Illinois Retail Merchants’ Association wants to see wages tiered to varying costs of living across the state. Lightford says she’s still open to the idea.

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The bill is SB1.

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