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House sends $15 minimum wage to Gov. Pritzker

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Latest on the action in the General Assembly on a minimum wage increase.

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.

The bill is SB1 .

The Illinois House could vote on a plan to increase the minimum wage to $15 by 2025.

Democrats who control the General Assembly are moving quickly because Gov. J.B. Pritzker wants to sign the measure into law before he proposes his first annual budget. That's scheduled for Feb. 20.

“Today is resounding victory for the 1.4 million Illinoisans who will soon get a hard-earned and well-deserved raise,” said Gov. JB Pritzker. “After nearly a decade of delay, I applaud the House and Senate for passing a living wage with the fierce urgency this moment requires. Phasing in the minimum wage over the next six years will put $6,300 a year into the pockets of nearly a quarter of our state’s workforce and billions of dollars into local economies in every corner of our state. Whether you’re a home healthcare provider in McLeansboro or a janitor in Rockford, hardworking men and women across Illinois deserve a raise and will get one. After campaigning on a promise to put Springfield back on the side of working families, I will proudly sign this historic legislation in the days to come.”

The proposal would increase the current $8.25-an-hour base wage by $1 on Jan. 1. After a 75-cent jump July 1, 2020, it would increase $1 each Jan. 1 until 2025. The Senate approved the plan last week . The House Labor and Commerce Committee voted 19-10 along party lines Wednesday to advance it to the House floor.

A House vote could come as early as Thursday.

Rep. Will Guzzardi is the sponsor. The Chicago Democrat says people making $8.25 an hour are "being kept in poverty."

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