Lightford minimum wage increase signed into law

SB 1 signed into law


SPRINGFIELD – Minimum-wage earners statewide will see their first pay increase since 2010 under a new law raising the minimum wage to $15 by January 2025 negotiated by Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood).

“Today is a victory for working families across the state, and a symbol of commitment to struggling populations across the state,” Lightford said. “I commend Governor Pritzker for making a higher minimum wage a priority and look forward to working with him moving forward.”

Senate Bill 1 would increase the minimum wage to:

  • $9.25 per hour on January 1, 2020
  • $10 per hour on July 1, 2020
  • $11 per hour on January 1, 2021
  • $12 per hour on January 1, 2022
  • $13 per hour on January 1, 2023
  • $14 per hour on January 1, 2024
  • $15 per hour on and after January 1, 2025

Illinois’ current minimum wage is $8.25 per hour. A single parent working a full-time minimum-wage job qualifies for food stamps, Medicaid and often housing assistance. A $15 per hour minimum wage would lessen single parents’ and families’ reliance on assistance.

The measure also increases the minimum wage for individuals under the age of 18 but at a slower pace, going from $8 on Jan. 1, 2020 to $13 on Jan. 1, 2022.

Under Illinois law, workers who receive tips, like servers and delivery drivers, receive 60 percent of minimum wage and receive the rest in tips or are supplemented by their employer. That dynamic will mean the tipped wage would increase to $9 per hour by 2025.

Lightford is also responsible for the 2003 and 2006 laws that gradually increased the minimum wage from $5.15 to $8.25 per hour.

Other sponsors and proponents reacted to the minimum wage bill increase signing today:

Assistant Majority Leader Tony Munoz (D-Chicago): “In order to move our state forward, there needs to be a commitment to the work force that keeps our businesses going. Our people are our most important asset, and we have a responsibility to take care of them first.”

Senator Omar Aquino (D-Chicago): “Paying people in Illinois what their labor is worth is long overdue. For years, people have been underpaid to the point to where, even if they work more than 60 hours a week, they still live in poverty. That is immoral, and we can do better.”

Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin): “This increase in our state’s minimum wage will help ease the burden on working class families. In the past, individuals could work 40 hours a week on the minimum wage and meet their financial responsibilities. Now, that kind of income barely covers basic needs, especially those who provide for an entire family.”

Senator Robert Peters (D – Chicago): “I am thrilled to see the Governor take such swift action sign into law the bill we worked so hard to pass through the Senate. This minimum wage increase is nearly a decade in the making, and it’s a great day for Illinois now that it’s here. I’m proud to have co-sponsored the bill and am honored to have been involved in helping it get passed.”

Senator Elgie R. Sims Jr. (D-Chicago): “As state leaders, it is our responsibility to provide economic stability to the people of Illinois. I commend Gov. Pritzker for signing this legislation, so we can finally take a step toward addressing the issue of income inequality by helping to improve the lives of hard-working individuals throughout our state."

State Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park): “Working wages have not kept up with inflation in our state or around the country, and I am thankful to Senator Lightford and the advocates who spent years fighting for a wage increase. I am glad Illinois is a leader in the Midwest on this issue, but we must keep fighting for dignity and stability for workers.”

State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago): “I am proud to have stood firm to support those forced to work two and three jobs simply to make ends meet. Increasing the minimum wage in a responsible way is the right thing to do in order to preserve the dignity of working people in our state and their ability to support themselves and their families.”

State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Cahokia): “I promised my constituents a better minimum wage, and today that promised was accomplished. This is big for my district, and I want to continue to bring better opportunities for the residents and taxpayers there.”

State Senator Laura Fine (D – Glenview): “I’m proud of the Governor for moving so quickly to finally finish what we’ve been working on in the Senate for years. Working class families have deserved fairer compensation for the work they do for years, and I’m honored to have been a part of the process allowing that to happen.”

Senator Ram Villivalam (D-Chicago): “Today's historic minimum wage success is thanks to a broad coalition of labor, business, advocates, members of the Illinois General Assembly and Governor Pritzker. At long last working people will be provided with a sense of dignity, fairness and stability in everyday life while also allowing them to spend money on things they need, resulting in a boost to our local economies."

Senator Jacqueline Collins (D-Chicago): “I stood as chief co-sponsor to this legislation because there is something morally backward about the phrase ‘working poor.’ The families who work 40 hours a week are not relying on government assistance because they are in some way deficient. They are forced to do this because they have not received a raise since 2010. Today is the first step in bringing about a minimum wage that can provide justice and dignity for the people who make society function. Gov. Pritzker’s swift action in signing this legislation is to be applauded.”