Chicago Raises Minimum Wage, But Statewide Effort Appears Stalled

Date: December 05, 2014

State Increase Passed Senate, But House Adjourned Without Acting

On Tuesday, the Chicago City Council voted to
raise the city’s minimum wage to $13 per hour by 2019, from its current level
of $8.25. The wage will increase to $10 in the middle of next year, $11 in
2017, and $13 in 2019, and be adjusted for inflation thereafter.

Meanwhile, an
effort to raise the minimum wage statewide in Illinois appears to have stalled.
On Wednesday, the state Senate passed legislation to raise the state minimum to
$11 per hour by 2019 on a 39-18 vote. However, the state House was adjourned on
Wednesday for the year without acting on the legislation. In order for there to
be any action before Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner (R) is sworn in next year, either
state House Speaker Michael Madigan or current Gov. Pat Quinn (D) would have to
call the House back into session. While Madigan has said he will not do so, it
is not clear whether Quinn will.

What This Means For Small Business:

A
joint statement from the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, the Illinois
Restaurant Association and other business groups summed up the impact well.
They said, “Make no mistake, this will cost thousands of low wage jobs
throughout Illinois as businesses flee. Further, it puts at severe risk the
small businesses in border communities throughout Chicago that neighbor the
suburbs and Indiana. Such an increase will permanently depress new business
development and hiring.”

Additional Reading:

The Chicago action
is covered by Reuters, CNN, and the Chicago
Tribune
,
while the AP and WHOI-TV report on the state legislative
action.

This news article is intended to keep small business owners apprised of current events that may affect them. It does not necessarily reflect NFIB’s policy position on such issues. Read more news analysis »

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