Illinois Moves Toward $15 Minimum Wage

(Bloomberg) -- Illinois moved closer to enacting a $15 per-hour minimum wage after the state’s senate approved a wage-hike measure backed by Democratic Governor J.B. Pritzker, who took office in January.

The legislation calls for a $1 an hour increase at the beginning of next year followed by further increases until the minimum wage for workers hits $15 in 2025. Included in the bill is a tax credit for employers with 50 or fewer workers designed to help ease the transition for small business.

"If you live in this state and put in a hard day’s work, you should be able to afford to put a roof over your head and food on the table," Pritzker said at a press conference after the bill was passed.

Illinois is not the only state to discuss raising the minimum wage well above the federal level, which has been at $7.25 for nearly a decade. California, Massachusetts and New York all hiked the minimum rate at the beginning of the year as incremental steps toward eventually reaching $15. New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy on Feb. 4 signed legislation that would raise the state’s wage to $15 by 2024.

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.