Minimum Wage Debate Continues

Feb 5, 2015

Sen. Kimberly Lightford (D-Maywood) wants to increase the minimum wage to $11 by 2019.
A day after Gov. Bruce Rauner proposed a seven year time frame to bring Illinois' minimum wage to $10 an hour. The Illinois Senate approved a plan that would make that happen by 2017.  

The Senate, or its Democrats, anyway, passed a minimum wage hike late last year. It died after stalling in the House.

Senators wasted no time in taking another swing now that a new legislative session has begun. Sen. Chris Nybo, a Republican from Elmhurst, tried to persuade the measure's sponsor, Democratic Sen. Kim Lightford, to wait.

"There are a lot of us on this side that want to work with you on this issue. And we just heard yesterday that the governor wants to work with you on this issue. So knowing that we're all in agreement on trying to work together, will you consider holding your bill until we have that opportunity? Rather than trying to get this passed one day after the State of the State address?" Nybo says. "Senator, I think it's important that we move this measure earlier in the session to allow the House ample time to also consider this minimum wage increase. This isn't the first that the governor and I have had conversations about the minimum wage," Lightford says. As Lightford suggests, her proposal could again have trouble in the Democratic-controlled House; though the Speaker says he's working to get it done.