SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – To lift up the prospects of the working men and women who have gone years without receiving a raise, state Rep. Juliana Stratton voted recently to raise Illinois’ minimum wage to $15 per hour.
“The minimum wage has long since maxed out its potential for my residents,” Stratton said. “So while people are working harder and harder, their wages remain flat, even with the skyrocketing cost of essentials like housing, groceries, health care and child care.”
The Stratton-backed Senate Bill 81 would increase the standard minimum wage from its current $8.25 to $9 per hour in 2018 and increase it every year until the minimum wage hits $15 in 2022. To make it easier for employers to hire young people, but still provide a living wage to more experienced workers, Senate Bill 81 would create a “youth minimum wage” of $12 per hour for workers 18 years and under by 2022. The legislation also creates a tax credit for small businesses to offset wage increases that would come as a result of the minimum wage increase.
“I challenge anyone who supports keeping the minimum wage at $8.25 to actually live on it for a week,” Stratton continued. “Many of my residents have to live on the minimum wage, and they have to pay to live. There is no way we can expect folks to do that on the current $8.25 per hour. That’s a recipe for poverty.”
The minimum wage bill is currently awaiting approval from the governor.