Minimum Wage

  • Van Pelt on minimum wage increase: It’s about time

    paycheck 070620CHICAGO – July 1 marked the second phase of Illinois’ minimum wage increase, which State Senator Patricia Van Pelt (D-Chicago) said will help workers as they navigate the complications of life during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    “Working class citizens have been waiting for their fair due for too long,” Van Pelt said. “People should not have to worry about earning a reasonable income, especially during a global pandemic.”

    Starting this month, the state’s minimum wage increases to $10 per hour. This is the second in a series of increases required by a law passed in 2019 (the first was back in January at $9.25 an hour). The wage will continue to increase by $1 every Jan. 1 until 2025, when it reaches $15 per hour.

    Communities like Cook County and Chicago have already set higher minimum wages. The city of Chicago’s minimum wage also increased on July 1 to $13.50 per hour for small employers (those with four to 20 employees) and $14 per hour for large employers (those with 21 or more employees).

    Carol Washington, a workforce coordinator in the 5th District, says this increase is long overdue.

    “The minimum wage we’ve been forced to work under has not provided a livable wage for many,” Washington said. “It’s very difficult when your wage remains the same while the cost of living is going up and up.”

    Washington also addressed the pushback from business leaders who have advocated for the bill to be rescinded due to the pandemic and its associated financial adversities:

    “Businesses get bailed out all the time. People don’t,” Washington said. “While I do empathize with them, the rest of us often get left behind. When things were good, when there was prosperity – we were not thought of. Now is the time for them to put their feet to the fire and continue moving in the right direction.”

  • The Majority Report 07/06/20 - New laws in the new fiscal year


    Castro protects more Illinois workers with Human Rights Act expansion

    Sen. Cristina CastroELGIN — More workers in Illinois will have protections under the state’s Human Rights Act as a law sponsored by State Senator Cristina Castro took effect July 1.

    “Workplace discrimination exists. It may not be done with bad intent, and at times it might not even be done intentionally, but it still happens, and real Illinois families are affected by it,” Castro said. “Everyone deserves the right to work at their job without having to worry about being discriminated against just because of who they are.”

    Read more.




    Lightford celebrates July 1 minimum wage increase

    Sen. Majority Leader Kimberly A. LightfordCHICAGO — Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) celebrated the July 1 increase to the state’s minimum wage, believing it will help working families navigate the difficulties of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    “So many families are struggling right now,” Lightford said. “Though minimum wage workers may count themselves lucky to have jobs while a great deal are unemployed, they still deserve to make a living wage. This increase takes them closer to that goal.”

    Read more.



    Middle schools to teach civics under new law by Collins

    Middle School CivicsCHICAGO — Middle school students will be required to study civics as part of their course work under a new law passed by State Senator Jacqueline Collins (D-Chicago) that took effect last week.

    “Current events teach us the importance and impact of civic engagement at every age,” Collins said. “In the malicious action and shameful inaction of our current president, we are given daily reminders that to be a society ruled by laws, not men, we must be vigilant and active. That starts with education about our system of government and our own responsibility to it.”

    Read more.






    Senator Christopher Belt, Centreville: Illinois lawmakers will consider police reform, but defunding isn't on the agenda | The Pantagraph

    Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant, Shorewood: Measure gives Will County Board toll rate authority | The Times Weekly

    Senator Laura Ellman, Naperville: Naperville ranks No. 1 in the nation in census response rate among cities of 140,000 or more | Chicago Tribune


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  • Sims: Illinois’ minimum wage increase to $10 is long overdue

    sims 021420CHICAGO—The minimum wage in Illinois increased to $10 on Wednesday because of a 2019 law co-sponsored by State Senator Elgie R. Sims Jr. (D-Chicago). 

    “We are seeing many years' worth of efforts to help working families finally come to fruition,” Sims said. “I take pride in our work here in Illinois to provide a wage that matches the rising cost of a family’s basic needs.” 

    The state’s minimum wage increases to $10 per hour July 1, the second in a series of increases required by the law passed last year. That legislation requires the wage to increase by $1 on Jan. 1 of each year going forward until it reaches $15 per hour in 2025. 

    Sims also disagreed with business leaders who have sought to delay or repeal the law because of the pandemic and its associated economic downturn. 

    “Those earning minimum wage haven’t seen an increase since 2010,” Sims said. “I understand that this is a difficult time for businesses, but we cannot continue to make working families wait for a pay raise. This is already long overdue.” 

    The law raises the minimum wage statewide, though some communities, including Cook County and Chicago, have set higher local minimum wages – measures which Sims supports. 

  • Belt backs July 1 minimum wage increase to support essential workers during COVID-19 crisis

    belt minwage 070120EAST ST. LOUIS - In support of the grocery store employees, gas station attendants and other minimum wage workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Centreville) applauds the July 1 increase to the state's minimum wage.

    “Our low-wage essential workers deserve to see a pay increase for their labor during the COVID-19 crisis,” Belt said. “And the many Illinoisans who have been laid off during the pandemic can count on a livable wage when they return to work.” 

    Senate Bill 1 increases the state's minimum wage increases to $10 per hour on July 1. The legislation requires the wage to increase by $1 on Jan. 1 each year until it reaches $15 per hour in 2025. 

    To support the state’s small business community, a tax credit will be available for businesses with fewer than 50 employees to help offset the wage increase.

    In response to business leaders who have used the pandemic and its associated economic downturn to try to repeal or delay the wage increase, Belt says it can’t wait.

    "I promised my constituents a livable minimum wage, and I plan on keeping that promise," Belt said. "It’s been a decade since Illinois workers received a wage increase—we can’t stall any longer."

  • Lightford celebrates July 1 minimum wage increase

    lightford mwage 062920

  • Bennett invites small business owners to a tax credit workshop

    cashCHAMPAIGN – State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) is partnering with the Illinois Department of Revenue (IDOR) and the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce to host a free workshop about the Minimum Wage Tax Credit on Tuesday, Feb. 11 at 2 p.m. at the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce (303 W. Kirby Ave., Champaign). 

    On Jan. 1, the first phase of minimum wage increases took effect, raising the wage from $8.25 an hour to $9.25 an hour. Under the new law, small businesses are eligible for a tax credit, giving them a maximum credit of 25% of the difference between the new minimum wage and what each employee was paid previously.

    “We need to keep small businesses competitive during this transition period,” Bennett said. “This informative workshop will help connect small business owners with updated information on the Minimum Wage Tax Credit to help offset the state’s minimum wage rate and ease their transition.”

    Businesses and nonprofits with 50 full-time equivalent employees or less are eligible for the credit and can begin to claim on their quarterly Illinois Withholding Income Tax Returns.

    Nick Austin of the IDOR will present at the workshop and provide assistance. Bennett urges small businesses to take advantage of this tax credit and participate in the February workshop. 

    For more information or to RSVP, please contact Senator Bennett’s office at 217-355-5252 or, or visit IDOR’s website 

  • Lightford reminds businesses of minimum wage tax credit

    min wg tx cred 010620SPRINGFIELD – Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) reminds small businesses to take advantage of the minimum wage credit starting this year. The new tax credit is intended to help small businesses over the next six years as a part of the state’s minimum wage increase plan.

    “Keeping small businesses competitive is a priority when increasing the minimum wage,” Lightford said. “I encourage businesses to take full advantage of this tax credit to ease their transition.”

    Businesses and nonprofits with 50 full-time employees or less are eligible to offset a portion of the minimum wage increase cost from their withholding income taxes. Eligible businesses can claim this credit by filing Form IL-941, Illinois withholding income tax return, and a new schedule.

  • Lightford minimum wage increase signed into law

    SB 1 signed into law

  • House approves minimum wage increase cosponsored by Sandoval

    sandoval 021519SPRINGFIELD – Legislation cosponsored by State Senator Martin A. Sandoval (D-Chicago) to increase the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour passed the Illinois House of Representatives, marking a major win in the fight to ensure Illinois workers are guaranteed a fair wage.

    “As legislators, we are committed to guaranteeing a living wage and protecting the dignity of workers,” Sandoval said. “I’m glad to see that the House followed our lead in approving this historic legislation recognizing the benefits this bill will bring to working class families in Illinois.”

    Senate Bill 1 would gradually increase the minimum wage in Illinois to $15 an hour by 2025. The step-by-step rollout of the increase is designed to allow businesses to adjust to the law and adapt accordingly. The first increase will take effect on Jan. 1, 2020 and set the minimum wage at $9.25.

    Illinois’ minimum wage has been $8.25 an hour since 2010.

    Senate Bill 1 now awaits the governor’s signature.

  • Villivalam commends House approval of minimum wage increase

    villivalam 021519SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois House today approved a measure that will gradually increase the minimum wage in Illinois to $15 an hour.

    “I’m thankful that the House followed the Senate's lead in moving this vital legislation forward," said Villivalam (D-Chicago). "This legislation will provide working people with a sense of dignity, fairness, and stability in everyday life. Furthermore, it will allow working families to spend money on things they need, which results in a boost to our local economies."

    This legislation is the result of the hard work and collaboration of a wide range of stakeholders. It includes tax credits for small businesses while putting 1.4 million workers on a path to a living wage. Labor organizations and business groups, such the Illinois Restaurant Association, are in support.

    Senate Bill 1 will be phased in over six years to provide businesses time to adapt to a new minimum wage in Illinois.

    SB 1 will raise the minimum wage to:

    •             $9.25 per hour from Jan. 1, 2020, to June 30, 2020
    •             $10 per hour from July 1, 2020, to Dec. 31, 2020
    •             $11 per hour from Jan. 1, 2021, to Dec. 31, 2021
    •             $12 per hour from Jan. 1, 2022, to Dec. 31, 2022
    •             $13 per hour from Jan. 1, 2023, to Dec. 31, 2023
    •             $14 per hour from Jan. 1, 2024, to Dec. 31, 2024
    •             $15 per hour on and after Jan. 1, 2025

    The bill now goes to the governor’s desk to be signed.

  • Lightford: Illinois workers are one step closer to a raise as House approves minimum wage increase

    lightford 201519SPRINGFIELD – Minimum-wage earners statewide could soon see a pay increase under a proposal approved by the House on Thursday that raises the minimum wage to $15 by January 2025. Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) negotiated the measure that would give hardworking families a much-needed raise.

    “We’re one step closer to bringing stability to a population that was neglected during the previous administration,” Lightford said. “As basic needs become increasingly more expensive, we have a responsibility to ensure working people are being compensated for being the force that keeps business moving.”

  • Senate Democrats advance $15 minimum wage plan

     Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford joins with her colleagues after passing a minimum wage increase in the Illinois Senate.

    Senate Democrats voted to raise wages for more than 1 million working Illinois families today by voting to raise the state's minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025.

    If passed by the House and signed by Governor JB Pritzker, it would represent the first minimum wage increase in Illinois in a decade.

    “The people who keep businesses going deserve a salary that allows them to take care of their financial responsibilities, whether that is taking care of a family, paying off student loans or simply covering their basic needs,” sponsor Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford said.

    Under the proposal, the state’s minimum hourly wage of $8.25 would increase incrementally to $15 per hour between now and 2025. The legislation, Senate Bill 1, also offsets the wage increase by providing a tax refund for businesses that employ fewer than 50 workers.

    There is ample public support for a minimum wage increase in Illinois. In 2014, voters were asked if they support an increase; 67 percent of them supported the non-binding question. Voter support was again overwhelming in 2018 for a similar referendum.

    The Senate approved the measure today in a 39-18 vote. The House must take it up before the legislation can go to the governor’s desk for approval.

    Senator Democrats reacted to today's vote with the following statements:

    Senator Christopher Belt (D-Cahokia):

    “Raising the minimum wage to $15 will help our workers better support our economy. We cannot expect workers or individuals who have to pay back student loans to be able to afford the cost of living when they only make $8.25."

    Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign):

    “Since the day I was sworn in to the Senate, I have pledged to do all I can to help make lives easier for families across Champaign and Vermilion Counties. By increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025 for the majority of workers, we are achieving the goal of lifting working families up to improve their quality of life.

    “Workers with full-time jobs should never be forced to live in poverty. Minimum wage workers are employed in many of the service jobs that are vital to the care of the most vulnerable and in jobs that serve the public. They deserve a fair wage that respects the work they do in service to others.

    “Putting the minimum wage on a clear and responsible path toward $15 an hour will provide Illinois’ hardest workers with dignity, fairness and stability.”

    Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake):

    “The minimum wage should be a living wage. Any individual who works full time should be able to provide for their family without having to rely on government assistance. This move is long overdue. Raising the minimum wage will lift up Illinois families and provide stability for Illinois workers.”

    Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin):

    “In the past, individuals could work 40 hours a week on the minimum wage and meet their financial responsibilities. Now, that kind of income barely covers basic needs, especially those who provide for an entire family. The gradual increase will allow for businesses to adapt to the new law. We’re committed to making sure local economies adapt to a new wage structure that will ultimately save money for all taxpayers, as fewer working families have to rely on government services to survive.”

    Senator Jacqueline Collins (D-Chicago):

    “A working family should not need to be on food stamps in order to survive. Economists argue that by the measure of Americans' productivity – their output and real accomplishments while at work – the minimum wage should now be more than $19 per hour. To afford the average rent on a two-bedroom apartment in Illinois requires a wage of nearly $21 per hour. This is just a step toward achieving sustainability for Illinois families that doesn’t come at the expense of taxpayers.”

    Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park):

    “For far too long nearly 38,000 of our military veterans in Illinois who make the minimum wage were unable to keep a roof over their family’s head and food on the table without government assistance. Implementing a fair wage will allow these hardworking heroes to live a life full of dignity, fairness and stability.”

    Senator Bill Cunningham (D-18th District):

    “Working mothers and fathers in Illinois should not be forced to work multiple jobs just to provide the bare minimum their families need to get by. A living wage is not a privilege, but a basic human right and we must ensure every Illinois worker has access to this right.

    “This legislation will help bring stability to families who are struggling to make ends meet. Illinois workers have long deserved a raise and I am proud to support the measure that will bring it to them.”

    Senator Laura Fine (D-Glenview):

    “Wages have been stagnant for nearly a decade, but the cost of living certainly has not, and minimum wage workers have struggled to keep up. This has been going on for far too long, and I’m proud to have helped the Senate pass this important legislation that will help so many people throughout the state.”

    Senator Ann Gillespie (D-Arlington Heights):

    “I believe Springfield should work for working families, and we can start by investing in people who work the hardest but earn the least. A significant increase in the minimum wage is long overdue in Illinois, and I am pleased to support this effort on behalf of working people.

    “I am proud to have represented the will of voters today by supporting this important bill."

    Assistant Majority Leader Don Harmon (D-Oak Park):

    “Working wages have not kept up with inflation over the past several decades. The ‘American dream’ of being able to provide for a family by working 40 hours a week is not a reality with the current minimum wage.

    “I am proud that Illinois is now a leader in ensuring the hard-working families in our state earn a living wage.”

    Senator Napoleon Harris (D-Harvey):

    “The minimum wage has remained stagnant for the past decade. Meanwhile, the cost of basic necessities has continued to increase. I’m glad we were able to move a step closer to helping working families meet their needs."

    Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Tinley Park):

    "The passage of this historic measure is long overdue. Over the past decade, workers have not seen a change in the minimum wage, but they have seen an increase in the cost of living.

    "My district voted in 2014 to increase the minimum wage and I heard them. I also heard those that work in industries like home health care and those with developmental disabilities. They have tough jobs and deserve to get paid a fair working wage. But it is important to take into consideration how employers and businesses implement the wage increase."

    Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago):

    “We have talked long enough about putting Illinois on a responsible path to $15 minimum wage and today is the first step along that path. This will allow millions of workers in our state to provide for themselves and their families.

    “We’re giving working families the raise and providing the stability they deserve. This puts us on the right trajectory to helping people in our state move their lives forward.”

    Senator Toi Hutchinson (D-Chicago Heights):

    “Every Senator in this body represents constituents in our districts who wake up every morning when it is still dark outside and go to work. They work all day and string together hourly jobs just to make ends meet. Then they get up and do it all over again. They don’t have a lobbyist to fight for their behalf – they only have us.

    “Today is our day to lift up millions of working Illinoisans who despite their hard work, still live every day in poverty.”

    Senator Emil Jones III (D-Chicago):

    “Increasing the minimum wage is something we have been waiting to do for years. Personally, I’ve been eager to see the minimum wage increase again since coming to the Senate in 2009.

    “Lawmakers voted to increase the minimum wage a couple of years ago, but Gov. Rauner vetoed the plan, hindering people from getting a more suitable living wage faster. This time around I believe workers will finally get the wages they deserve.”

    Assistant Majority Leader Terry Link (D-Indian Creek):

    “Working families haven’t seen a raise in Illinois since 2010, while costs for housing, child care and food have only continued to increase. The compromise plan I supported today gradually increases wages while providing a key tax refund for small businesses. For thousands of Illinois families struggling to get by, this increase will provide more security and stability in their everyday lives.”

    Assistant Majority Leader Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago):

    “This raise for the hard-working people of our state is long overdue. It is unacceptable for someone who works full-time to struggle to pay for food and housing costs. I am glad we finally took a step towards making sure our working families receive a living wage.”

    Senator Pat McGuire (D-Crest Hill):

    “Fair pay for hard work is the American way. A higher minimum wage will boost families and the Illinois economy.”

    Senator John Mulroe (D-Chicago):

    “Taxpayers are supplementing low wages with public money in the form of food stamps, Medicaid and housing assistance, all at the expense of the dignity of people who work 40 hours a week and still need such help. A full-time job deserves a living wage. These incremental increases to the minimum wage bring us closer to sustainability for workers while giving businesses time to adjust to the new levels.”

    Assistant Majority Leader Tony Munoz (D-Chicago):

    “Working people deserve this raise. They have been hit by increasing housing costs, rising costs for college and other basic necessities. Today, we voted for working families who despite working full time still struggle to make ends meet.”

    Senator Robert Peters (D-Chicago):

    “Wages have remained unchanged for years despite worker productivity being at an all-time high. It has been too long since the working class people of our state have received just compensation for the labor they provide. I'd like to thank Senate  Majority Leader Kimberly Lightford for her years of hard work on this extremely important issue, and I'm honored to have voted for the bill that finally let her achieve her goal.

    “This would never have been possible without the efforts of great organizations like the Fight for Fifteen movement. I want to personally thank them for their diligent work in organization and outreach that helped to finally deliver the relief that struggling working class families have desperately needed for the past 30 or 40 years.”

    Senator Martin A. Sandoval (D-Chicago):

    “The opportunity to earn a fair wage and provide for your family is a right, not a privilege. This wage increase will provide stability to struggling families in Illinois and help them lift themselves out of poverty.

    “The men and women of Illinois who work tirelessly to provide for their families are long overdue for a pay increase. It’s absurd that in spite of the rising cost of living, this is the first time we have increased the minimum wage in almost a decade. As members of the General Assembly, it is our duty to protect the dignity and rights of our workers.”

    Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr. (D-Chicago):

    “Raising the minimum wage throughout the state is crucial to help struggling, working families in Illinois. This effort was unfortunately blocked by the past administration, but the time is now to provide Illinoisans across our state with a fair wage and provide them the stability they deserve.

    “I was proud to stand with my colleagues to pass this historic legislation and help improve the lives of hard-working individuals throughout the state. I know this plan will help working families by bridging the pay gap for seniors, women and minorities across our state.”

    Senator Heather Steans (D-Chicago):

    “Raising the minimum wage in Illinois is a long overdue step that will help restore dignity to working families who are currently struggling to make ends meet, as wages are failing to keep up with the cost of living.

    “Additionally, the current, insufficient minimum wage disproportionately impacts groups like women, minorities and senior citizens. Raising the minimum wage is an important component in closing the wage gap.”

    Senator Patricia Van Pelt (D-Chicago):

    "After years of stagnant wages, it’s time for hardworking Illinoisans to finally get a raise. Raising the minimum wage will help lift families out of poverty and it will have the biggest impact on black, Latino and female workers. I’m proud to support this important effort to help reduce poverty and get us one step closer to closing the income inequality gap.”

  • Lightford continues the fight for $15

    lightford 013019

  • Gillespie: Pritzker correct to make wages a top priority

    gillespie rptr 010919SPRINGFIELD – Barring state agencies from asking prospective employees about their salary histories is a good move by Illinois’ new governor on his first day in office, State Senator Ann Gillespie said today.

    “Gov. Pritzker seems to be off to a good start. Moving swiftly to eliminate gender bias in the state’s hiring process is long overdue,” Gillespie (D-Arlington Heights) said, reacting to the governor signing a series of executive orders and legislation this afternoon.

    “I am eager to see how he will work with lawmakers to establish a much-needed $15 livable minimum wage in Illinois. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the General Assembly and with the governor to push this important issue forward.”

  • Lightford: Rauner denies workers a living wage

    lightford mwveto 082517

    SPRINGFIELD — Assistant Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) released the following statement after Governor Bruce Rauner vetoed legislation that would have increased the statewide minimum to $15 per hour by January 2022.

    “Governor Rauner’s veto doubles down on his stance against some of our most vulnerable communities. Throughout his term he has irresponsibly cut the child care assistance program, held up grant money for low-income college students and caused severe damage to our social services through a historic budget stalemate.

    “There is no reason why a single parent working full-time should qualify for food stamps and Medicaid. Our workers deserve financial independence and the empowerment that comes from being able to provide for a family.

    “Our fight does not end here. I will continue to stand for hardworking people struggling to make ends meet as I have done my entire career because I know the difference a living wage can make in a person’s life, in our communities and in our entire state.”

  • Biss calls on governor to pass minimum wage increase

    Sen. Daniel Biss

    Joining the chorus of workers and Illinoisans who voted overwhelmingly in favor of an increase to the minimum wage, State Senator Daniel Biss called on Gov. Bruce Rauner to sign legislation the Illinois Senate passed that would increase the hourly wage to $15.

    “The rich are getting richer, the poor are getting poorer, and the middle class is starting to fade away,” Biss said at a press conference in Chicago this week. “Raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour will help that a lot, but it goes beyond that. The state spends $5 billion subsidizing corporations that aren’t willing to pay their workers a living wage. We can’t afford that. Corporations need to pull their weight.”

    Biss was joined by Adriana Alvarez, a worker at McDonald’s and a single mother.

    “I’m urging Governor Rauner to do the right thing and sign the bill,” Alvarez said. “For me personally, a single mom with a five-year-old, it would mean I would be able to afford everything he needs.”

    (Spanish version available HERE)

    Biss is the chief co-sponsor of Senate Bill 81. The legislation would incrementally increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour by Jan. 1, 2022, starting with an increase to $9 per hour starting Jan. 1, 2018. It awaits the governor’s signature to become law.

  • Lightford: Give Illinois workers the raise they have been waiting for

    Sen. Kimberly A. Lightford

    SPRINGFIELD — Minimum-wage earners statewide could soon see a pay increase as a result of legislation that raises the minimum wage to $15 by January 2022. Assistant Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford spearheaded efforts that would give hardworking families a much-needed raise.

    “People working full time should earn a living wage,” said Lightford, a Maywood Democrat “We want our workers to be able to support their families, have financial independence and be able to contribute to the state’s economy.”


  • House approves minimum wage increase to $15, Senate ready to vote

    minwage 053017Today the Illinois House approved Senate Bill 81 which increases the minimum wage in Illinois. The measure was initiated in the Senate and increases the minimum wage over five years to $15 per hour by January 1, 2022.

    Senate President John J. Cullerton statement on House approval of a minimum wage increase:

    “The Senate has been waiting a long time for this. I hope that my assurances that this will get a vote in the Senate helped give the House members the courage to do the right thing. The Senate is ready to take this up if the House can get the paperwork over to us.”

  • Aquino: $15 an hour good for the economy

    aquino 042717SPRINGFIELD – State Sen. Omar Aquino, a Democrat from Chicago, spoke in favor of raising the minimum wage to $15 statewide. Aquino spoke at a rally in the capitol building, along with workers, activists and fellow legislators.

    “If we really want to help local businesses and stimulate the economy, we need to raise the minimum wage,” Aquino said. “If workers are paid at least $15 an hour, they’ll have more money to spend on goods and services in their communities. That money will go straight back into the economy. Raising the minimum wage is not just the right thing to do. It will inject money where it is needed.”

    The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is supporting a nationwide effort to raise the minimum wage, focusing on organizing workers in the service industry. While organizers support different wages depending on jurisdiction, they have consistently fought for a $15 minimum wage in Illinois.

  • Hastings moves to override the governor

    hastings 053116SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Senate has reconvened for their fall session to consider legislation that the governor either outright vetoed or amended. One piece of legislation would give home health workers and personal assistants a minimum wage of $15 per hour.

    “These home health workers and personal assistants are doing extremely difficult and stressful work,” Hastings said. “This proposal will give them a much needed wage increase, the opportunity for health insurance and the mandatory training they need to provide quality care to their clients.”