Illinois Senate passes bill raising minimum wage to $15

Members of the Illinois Senate on Thursday voted overwhelmingly to raise the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour.

The state Senate, dominated by Democrats, voted 39-18 to pass the proposal, which would increase the state’s $8.25 per hour minimum wage every year by $1.75 until 2025, when the hourly wage reaches $15, The Daily Herald reports.

The effort was lauded by the newly elected Democratic governor, J.B. Pritzker, who promised during his campaign to raised the hourly minimum wage in a state that hasn’t seen an increase in the pay floor in almost a decade. 

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"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 to reporters after the vote, according to the local newspaper.

The plan still needs to be approved by the state’s Democratic-controlled House before it reaches Pritzker’s desk.

But Pritzker says he wants to sign off on the legislation before proposing a state budget, which he has promised to unveil later this month.

Some Republicans oppose the legislation, arguing that it will make the cost of minimum wage too high for employers to pay and many Illinoisans would lose jobs because of it. 

However, Pritzker defended the legislation against such claims and argued that the increase would help lower-paid workers escape poverty.