SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has signed a measure gradually hiking the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025, the highest in the Midwest. It was one of the new Democratic governor’s top campaign promises. He signed the six-year plan Tuesday at the Governor’s Mansion.
Illinois is on track to be the first state in the Midwest to push its base wage to $15. It increases from $8.25 by $1 on Jan. 1, and jumps to $10 on July 1, 2020. Then, it increases $1 each Jan. 1 until 2025.
Business groups opposed the plan. They wanted a longer phase-in and a regionalized approach with lower minimum wage levels for areas outside Chicago.
Pritzker noted there are payroll tax credits in the law to ease the transition for employers.
Illinois Republican Party Chairman Tim Schneider issued this statement about the wage increase, “This is only the beginning of J.B. Pritzker’s war on taxpayers and small business. Nearly doubling the minimum wage will destroy entry-level jobs, raise prices for consumers, and bust budgets at every level of government. Pritzker pledged to govern differently and listen to all parties and stakeholders, but those turned out to meaningless words.”
— Illinois Working Together (@IllinoisWorking) February 19, 2019