The governor of Illinois is working to raise the state’s minimum wage in an effort to pull full time workers out of the poverty level.
Governor Pat Quinn is trying to raise Illinois’ minimum wage from $8.25 to $10 per hour. He announced during his State of the State address that raising minimum wage was one of his main priorities.
A full-time worker in Illinois makes around $16,600 yearly; the Federal Poverty level for a family of four is $23,550, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Quinn said nobody should live in poverty if they work 40 hours a week.
According to a spokesperson from the governor’s office, Illinois’ minimum wage is less than half of the average U.S. hourly wage of $19.97. If minimum wage was increased to $10 per hour, roughly 500,000 Illinois consumers would make nearly $5,000 more each year.
“If we want to fight poverty, curb crime and revitalize our neighborhoods, the best way to do it is with jobs,” Quinn said. “Increasing the minimum wage will ensure that many Illinois workers get a fair day’s wages for a fair day’s work and we can pull themselves from poverty.”
According to the U.S. Department of Labor (USDL), federal minimum wage is $7.25. On the USDL’s website, it states that five states do not have a minimum wage requirement, and 19 states are above the federal minimum wage. Only three states had a higher minimum wage than Illinois in September of 2013, the highest being Washington at $9.19.
The last time Illinois minimum wage was increased was in 2010. Minimum wage in Iowa is $7.25.