SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – To lift up the working men and women who have gone years without receiving a raise, state Rep. Sonya Harper, D-Chicago, voted recently to raise Illinois’ minimum wage to $15 per hour.
“Since the late sixties and seventies, workers’ wages have not gone up, despite the increase in the cost of living,” Harper said. “As workers are making less than a livable wage, their corporate bosses are making extreme profits. Working families should not be struggling to put food on their tables, and have the right to see an increase in their wages.”
Harper’s 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. Harper’s legislation would allow for Illinois’ working and middle-class families to have more disposable income for their needs, and provide them with much needed economic justice that is long overdue.
“An increased minimum wage will lift up Illinois’s middle-class and working families,” Harper said. “People have been working harder than ever before, but they are not enjoying the fruits of their labor. I will never stop fighting to lift people out of poverty until we get the job done.”