Animated Loading
Having trouble loading this page? Get help troubleshooting.

Governor signs measure to hike Illinois minimum wage to $15

Published
M.K. Pritzker hands pens to her husband, Gov. J.B. Pritzker, as he signs SB1 raising the minimum wage in Illinois during a ceremony Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019 at the Executive Mansion in Springfield, Ill. (Rich Saal/The State Journal-Register via AP)

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a measure Tuesday gradually hiking the statewide minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025, an early victory for the Democrat on the eve of his first annual budget proposal.

Fulfilling one of his top campaign promises just five weeks into the job, Pritzker declared that Illinois "welcomes working families, setting a high standard for workers' rights, economic opportunity and economic justice."

Pritzker signed the law at the Governor's Mansion, packed with supporters in a party-like atmosphere. On Wednesday, he is scheduled to deliver a proposed annual budget amid forecasts that the financially troubled state faces a $3.2 billion deficit in the fiscal year that begins July 1.

Illinois employs thousands of minimum-wage workers, many at universities and health care institutions funded by Medicaid. The new law means the state would have to pay more, including $230 million in additional costs in 2021 when the hourly pay floor rises to $10.

Illinois is on track to be the first state in the Midwest to push its base wage to $15. The state's pay floor, currently $8.25, increases to $9.25 on Jan. 1; it jump to $10 on July 1, 2020, and then increases $1 each Jan. 1 until 2025.

"It was just a few years ago that a $15-an-hour minimum wage seemed like a pipe dream," said Rep. Will Guzzardi, a Chicago Democrat who sponsored the measure on House floor. "It has gone in that time from a bold ideal to a national movement to today, it becomes the law of the land in the state of Illinois."

Business groups opposed the plan. They wanted a longer phase-in and a regionalized approach with lower minimum wage levels for areas outside Chicago. Chicago has its own minimum wage, which increases to $13 in July.

"The right to a fair wage does not end at Chicago's border," Pritzker said. "Workers in East St. Louis, in Peoria, and in Springfield deserve that same fair pay."

Pritzker noted there are payroll tax credits in the law to ease the transition for employers.

Ieshia Townsend, who works at a McDonald's restaurant on Chicago's South Side and is a member of the Fight for $15 movement, said she supplements the $12-an-hour she currently makes with two other jobs to support her two sons.

"Millions of workers have worked hard to get paid enough by giant corporations like McDonald's to provide for our families," Townsend said. "I don't get paid enough to meet the requirements for my children. ... I should be able to stand on my two feet and provide for my children without food stamps or Medicaid."

___

The legislation is SB1 .

___

Follow Political Writer John O'Connor at https://twitter.com/apoconnor .

Sen. Kimberly Lightford, D-Maywood, had the task of handing out the pens Gov. J.B. Pritzker used to sign SB1 into law during a ceremony Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019 at the Executive Mansion in Springfield, Ill. (Rich Saal/The State Journal-Register via AP)
Ieshia Townsend, a McDonald's employee in Chicago, speaks about what a rise in the minimum wage will mean to her and her family during a ceremony where Gov. J.B. Pritzker, left, signed SB1 into law Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019 at the Executive Mansion in Springfield, Ill. The law will gradually hike the state's minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025. (Rich Saal/The State Journal-Register via AP)
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, right, congratulates Illinois State Rep. Will Guzzardi, D-Chicago, left, on the House floor at the Illinois State Capitol, Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019, in Springfield, Ill. Illinois legislators moved quickly to deliver one of Pritzker's top campaign promises, a gradual hike in the statewide minimum wage from $8.25 to $15 an hour — more than double the pay floor that most of its Midwestern neighbors require. (Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register via AP)
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, left, and Illinois Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton, right, are acknowledged for their presence on the House floor at the Illinois State Capitol, Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019, in Springfield, Ill. Illinois legislators moved quickly to deliver one of Pritzker's top campaign promises, a gradual hike in the statewide minimum wage from $8.25 to $15 an hour — more than double the pay floor that most of its Midwestern neighbors require. (Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register via AP)
Illinois State Rep. Will Guzzardi, D-Chicago, center, gets a an emotional hug from Erica Bland, of Chicago, Ill., as she joins supporters outside the Illinois State Capitol, Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019, in Springfield, Ill. Illinois legislators moved quickly to deliver one of J.B. Pritzker's top campaign promises, a gradual hike in the statewide minimum wage from $8.25 to $15 an hour — more than double the pay floor that most of its Midwestern neighbors require. (Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register via AP)
Illinois Speaker of the House Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, talks with Illinois House Minority Leader Jim Durkin, R-Western Springs, on the House floor prior to a debate at the Illinois State Capitol, Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019, in Springfield, Ill. Illinois legislators moved quickly to deliver one of J.B. Pritzker's top campaign promises, a gradual hike in the statewide minimum wage from $8.25 to $15 an hour — more than double the pay floor that most of its Midwestern neighbors require. (Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register via AP)
Ieshia Townsend, a McDonald's employee in Chicago, speaks about what a rise in the minimum wage will mean to her and her family during a ceremony where Gov. J.B. Pritzker, left, signed SB1 into law Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019 at the Executive Mansion in Springfield, Ill. The law will gradually hike the state's minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025. (Rich Saal/The State Journal-Register via AP)
Ieshia Townsend, a McDonald's employee in Chicago, speaks about what a rise in the minimum wage will mean to her and her family during a ceremony where Gov. J.B. Pritzker, left, signed SB1 into law Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019 at the Executive Mansion in Springfield, Ill. The law will gradually hike the state's minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025. (Rich Saal/The State Journal-Register via AP)
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, right, congratulates Illinois State Rep. Will Guzzardi, D-Chicago, left, on the House floor at the Illinois State Capitol, Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019, in Springfield, Ill. Illinois legislators moved quickly to deliver one of Pritzker's top campaign promises, a gradual hike in the statewide minimum wage from $8.25 to $15 an hour — more than double the pay floor that most of its Midwestern neighbors require. (Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register via AP)
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, right, congratulates Illinois State Rep. Will Guzzardi, D-Chicago, left, on the House floor at the Illinois State Capitol, Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019, in Springfield, Ill. Illinois legislators moved quickly to deliver one of Pritzker's top campaign promises, a gradual hike in the statewide minimum wage from $8.25 to $15 an hour — more than double the pay floor that most of its Midwestern neighbors require. (Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register via AP)
Illinois Speaker of the House Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, talks with Illinois House Minority Leader Jim Durkin, R-Western Springs, on the House floor prior to a debate at the Illinois State Capitol, Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019, in Springfield, Ill. Illinois legislators moved quickly to deliver one of J.B. Pritzker's top campaign promises, a gradual hike in the statewide minimum wage from $8.25 to $15 an hour — more than double the pay floor that most of its Midwestern neighbors require. (Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register via AP)
Illinois Speaker of the House Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, talks with Illinois House Minority Leader Jim Durkin, R-Western Springs, on the House floor prior to a debate at the Illinois State Capitol, Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019, in Springfield, Ill. Illinois legislators moved quickly to deliver one of J.B. Pritzker's top campaign promises, a gradual hike in the statewide minimum wage from $8.25 to $15 an hour — more than double the pay floor that most of its Midwestern neighbors require. (Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register via AP)
Illinois State Rep. Will Guzzardi, D-Chicago, center, gets a an emotional hug from Erica Bland, of Chicago, Ill., as she joins supporters outside the Illinois State Capitol, Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019, in Springfield, Ill. Illinois legislators moved quickly to deliver one of J.B. Pritzker's top campaign promises, a gradual hike in the statewide minimum wage from $8.25 to $15 an hour — more than double the pay floor that most of its Midwestern neighbors require. (Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register via AP)
Illinois State Rep. Will Guzzardi, D-Chicago, center, gets a an emotional hug from Erica Bland, of Chicago, Ill., as she joins supporters outside the Illinois State Capitol, Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019, in Springfield, Ill. Illinois legislators moved quickly to deliver one of J.B. Pritzker's top campaign promises, a gradual hike in the statewide minimum wage from $8.25 to $15 an hour — more than double the pay floor that most of its Midwestern neighbors require. (Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register via AP)
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, left, and Illinois Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton, right, are acknowledged for their presence on the House floor at the Illinois State Capitol, Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019, in Springfield, Ill. Illinois legislators moved quickly to deliver one of Pritzker's top campaign promises, a gradual hike in the statewide minimum wage from $8.25 to $15 an hour — more than double the pay floor that most of its Midwestern neighbors require. (Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register via AP)
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, left, and Illinois Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton, right, are acknowledged for their presence on the House floor at the Illinois State Capitol, Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019, in Springfield, Ill. Illinois legislators moved quickly to deliver one of Pritzker's top campaign promises, a gradual hike in the statewide minimum wage from $8.25 to $15 an hour — more than double the pay floor that most of its Midwestern neighbors require. (Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register via AP)
Sen. Kimberly Lightford, D-Maywood, had the task of handing out the pens Gov. J.B. Pritzker used to sign SB1 into law during a ceremony Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019 at the Executive Mansion in Springfield, Ill. (Rich Saal/The State Journal-Register via AP)
Sen. Kimberly Lightford, D-Maywood, had the task of handing out the pens Gov. J.B. Pritzker used to sign SB1 into law during a ceremony Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019 at the Executive Mansion in Springfield, Ill. (Rich Saal/The State Journal-Register via AP)
M.K. Pritzker hands pens to her husband, Gov. J.B. Pritzker, as he signs SB1 raising the minimum wage in Illinois during a ceremony Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019 at the Executive Mansion in Springfield, Ill. (Rich Saal/The State Journal-Register via AP)
M.K. Pritzker hands pens to her husband, Gov. J.B. Pritzker, as he signs SB1 raising the minimum wage in Illinois during a ceremony Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019 at the Executive Mansion in Springfield, Ill. (Rich Saal/The State Journal-Register via AP)