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Illinois House sends $15 minimum wage to Pritzker

Illinois state Rep. Will Guzzardi, D-Chicago, testifies before the Labor and Commerce Committee Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2019 on his proposal to increase the minimum wage to $15 by 2025. | AP photo

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — A $15-an-hour minimum wage is headed to Gov. J.B. Pritzker after the House approved the six-year plan.

Thursday’s 69-41 vote in the House almost guarantees it will become law.

Pritzker, a Democrat, has pledged to sign it before Wednesday. That’s when he unveils his first annual budget plan. He stood on the House floor during the roll call with the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Will Guzzardi of Chicago.

The measure would increase the state’s $8.25 minimum wage to $9.25 on Jan. 1 and $10 on July 1, 2020. It then would increase $1 each Jan. 1 until 2025.

Republicans complained the increase is too steep and happens too fast. They say businesses will raise prices and cut jobs or even close.

Business groups want a tiered minimum wage with lower base levels in parts of the state with lower costs of living.