The Majority Report 02/11/19 - Senate greenlights $15 minimum wage


Senate Democrats greenlight $15 minimum wage

Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford

Senate Democrats voted to raise wages for more than 1 million working Illinois families by approving a plan to increase the state's minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025.

If passed by the House and signed by the governor, it would represent the first minimum wage increase in Illinois in a decade.

“The people who keep businesses going deserve a salary that allows them to take care of their financial responsibilities, whether that is taking care of a family, paying off student loans or simply covering their basic needs,” sponsor Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford said.

Under the proposal, the state’s minimum hourly wage of $8.25 would increase incrementally to $15 per hour between now and 2025. The legislation, Senate Bill 1, also offsets the wage increase by providing a tax refund for businesses that employ fewer than 50 workers.

“Fair pay for hard work is the American way. A higher minimum wage will boost families and the Illinois economy,” State Senator Pat McGuire (D-Joliet) said.

Read more: Reaction from Senate Democrats
Watch: Lightford makes the case for $15 minimum wage
In the news: Illinois Senate approves $15 minimum wage


Teacher minimum wage plan on the move

Sen. Andy Manar

An effort to update Illinois’ minimum mandated salary for teachers – one that could attract more young people to the profession by sending a message that their work is valued – was approved by an Illinois Senate committee Tuesday.

Illinois has not updated its minimum mandated salary for teachers since 1980. For 38 years, state statute has required Illinois school districts to pay teachers with a bachelor’s degree a minimum salary of $10,000.

Senate Bill 10 represents State Senator Andy Manar’s second attempt to see a living minimum wage for teachers signed into law. Last year the proposal won support from lawmakers of both parties before being vetoed by Gov. Bruce Rauner.

“This is where the rubber meets the road. Do we want to attract talented young teachers to Illinois, or do we want to watch them put down professional roots in other states?” Manar (D-Bunker Hill) said. Continue.


Link leads effort to appoint new ethics watchdog

Sens. Terry Link and Heather A. Steans

Assistant Majority Leader Terry Link led the Senate in approving Carol M. Pope as new legislative inspector general, a post responsible for investigating complaints made against lawmakers and legislative employees.

“Judge Carol Pope has all of the necessary experience and background to be an excellent Legislative Inspector General,” Link (D-Indian Creek) said. “It is vitally important that allegations of misconduct are investigated and properly handled. I have the upmost trust that Judge Pope will live up to those expectations.”

Judge Pope was recommended unanimously by the Illinois Legislative Ethics Commission in December to fill the post full time after Julie Porter was appointed to serve as temporary inspector general until a permanent appointment was made.

Under Link’s plan that passed the Senate, Pope would begin her term as Legislative Inspector General on March 1, 2019. Her term would expire on June 30, 2023. Continue.


Steans aims to close corporate loopholes

Sens. Omar Aquino and Heather A. Steans

State Senator Heather Steans introduced legislation to crack down on corporations shifting their profits to offshore tax havens.

The measure would convert Illinois’ corporate tax system from mandatory “water’s edge” combined reporting, which includes only companies with more than 20 percent of their business activity in the United States, to a default worldwide combined reporting requirement.

Steans said her legislation will provide much-needed revenue for Illinois.

“We want a fair income tax. That’s going to take time, but we need revenue for our state now,” she said. “This is one part of a solution, but it’s a critical one.” Continue.



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