Democratic gubernatorial candidate JB Pritzker on October 1, 2018, in Chicago. (E. Jason Wambsgans/Chicago Tribune/TNS/Sipa USA)

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker signs bill to raise minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025

Pritzker must make room in the budget for the increase.

February 19, 2019 - 12:09 pm

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP/KMOX) —  Illinois Governor JB Pritzker has officially signed a bill to raise the state's minimum wage to $15-per-hour by 2025.

That's more than double the pay floor that most of its Midwestern neighbors require, including Missouri.

The legislation, sponsored by Chicago Democratic Rep. Will Guzzardi, would increase Illinois' minimum wage from $8.25 to $9.25 on Jan. 1; to $10 on July 1, 2020; and $1 each Jan. 1 until 2025.

"Raising the minimum wage has no net effect on employment, it doesn't drive jobs out of the state ...," Guzzardi said during the vote Thursday. "All it does is put money in people's pockets who need it."

"People vote with their dollars, and they vote with their feet," said Rep. Randy Frese, a Republican from Paloma in west-central Illinois. "Our region may see economic growth, but the growth will be on the other side of the border, which doesn't benefit Illinois."

Pritzker must make room in the budget for the increase. The government will have to finance increased wages for thousands of university students who make minimum wage in on-campus jobs or workers for health care institutions funded by Medicaid.

His office released figures this month on the costs to government of the hike. In 2021, when the wage is $10.25, the state would face $269 million in additional costs for workers in human services programs. There would be $59 million more in income and sales taxes receipts from the higher wages. But small-business tax credits in the minimum-wage plan would eat up $23 million of that.