SPRINGFIELD — A measure that would change the minimum wage in Illinois, resulting in an $11 minimum wage by 2019, passed the Illinois Senate Wednesday, but failed to be called in the House prior to its adjournment Wednesday.
The minimum wage proposal, House Bill 4733, was sent to the House of Representatives for its consideration, but a spokesman for Speaker Mike Madigan said Tuesday he was not going to call the bill because of “complications” with it, according to the Associated Press.
The issue is expected to resurface again beginning in the next session, early next year. However, it faces new membership elected to both chambers and a new governor.
The Senate action Wednesday followed the sentiments of Illinois voters, more than two thirds of whom supported the increase in a question on the November mid-term election ballot.
“Illinoisans deserve a living wage,” said state Sen. Melinda Bush, D-Grayslake. “Today, the Senate acted in favor of working families, thanks in no small part to the resounding voice of Illinois citizens.”
There has not been a minimum wage increase in Illinois in nearly a decade. Bush said he and her colleagues have been working to rectify that problem for the last two years. The proposed minimum wage increase is reflective of the cost of living in Illinois and would return the minimum wage to the spending power it had in 1968.
Bush said the latest proposal provides for a gradual increase in the minimum wage each year as to not overburden employers.
It also provides a tax credit for small business employers who pay minimum wage. The amendment allows these employers, between July 1, 2015, and June 30, 2018, to claim a credit on their payroll taxes of the difference between the increased minimum wage and the current $8.25.
Bush said: “I believe we struck a fair balance between giving Illinois citizens a fair minimum wage while protecting Illinois employers by incorporating tax relief and making the change gradual over the course of five years.”