Businesses Get Tax Break With New Minimum Wage Plan

Dec 2, 2014

Sen. Kim Lightford, D-Maywood, holds a press conference in November; she has campaigned for years fon a minimum wage increase.
Credit Amanda Vinicky

A revamped statewide minimum wage hike is in the works, following Chicago's passage of one for the city. As the legislative session nears its end, specifics are developing.

Backers of a higher minimum wage are doing what they can to get it through the General Assembly.

That means phasing it in over a longer period of time --- so it'd go up to $9 in July, instead of $10, then notch up each summer by 50 cents, until it reaches $11 in 2019. They're also adding on a tax credit for small businesses, to ease the cost of paying workers more.

Sen. Kim Lightford, a Democrat from Maywood, is the plan's sponsor.

"We're trying to find a balance to allow for a wage increase, to support business community, and to keep the city of Chicago thriving."

The latest version allows Chicago to keep its just-passed $13-an-hour wage hike, but no more. All other communities would be prevented from requiring a minimum wage higher than the state's.