4 months, 1 week ago from sj-r.com
A bill gradually raising the state's minimum wage to $10.65 an hour cleared a Senate committee Thursday
A bill gradually raising the state's minimum wage to $10.65 an hour cleared a Senate committee Thursday.
However, the bill's sponsor, Sen. Kimberly Lightford, D-Maywood, was unsure when she would call the bill for a vote before the full Senate.
“I am trying to move this measure to the floor, however I've identified some areas that I believe we should have further discussion (around),” Lightford said after the hearing.
That includes, she said, discussions about the teen sub-minimum wage and possibly the tip-wage provisions. Both allow employers to pay affected employees less than the minimum wage.
Illinois' minimum wage now stands at $8.25 an hour, more than the federally mandated $7.25 an hour. Gov. Pat Quinn has called for increasing the minimum wage to $10 an hour.
Lightford's Senate Bill 68 would increase the minimum wage to $10.65 an hour by the middle of 2016. Unless other states also raise their minimum wages, Illinois would have the highest minimum wage at that time.
“It's important to have a living wage,” Lightford said. “If you work a full-time job, 35 to 40 hours a week, you shouldn't be at the rate of poverty. A person working a 40-hour work week (at minimum wage) makes about $17,160 a year and it's just not sufficient to sustain a family.”
Business groups testified in opposition to the bill. Rob Karr of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association said the increase would mean Illinois' minimum wage has risen 90 percent in 12 years. Despite that, he said, employment rates have not increased and poverty rates have not decreased.
Kim Maisch of the National Federation of Independent Business, which represents businesses generally with 50 or fewer employees, said the organization's analysis shows the higher minimum wage could cost 45,000 jobs in the next 10 years.