The sponsor of minimum-wage legislation in the Illinois Senate is optimistic her bill to raise the wage to ten dollars an hour will make progress in Springfield this year.
State Sen. Kimberly Lightford (D-Maywood) is also reacting to Republican gubernatorial candidates’ views. Of Bruce Rauner’s pledge to cut the state’s $8.25 minimum to the federal $7.25, “I find it inconsistent that a gentleman who makes millions of dollars a month would even be able to relate to an individual working for minimum wage with a family and still has to come to the state because their child is on free or reduced lunch.” And State Sen. Kirk Dillard (R-Hinsdale) has said the unseen hand of the market should guide the wage. “(If you were to) base the minimum wage on the actual need analysis, then you would be a little over $11 an hour,” Lightford said. “Well, thank you, Sen. Dillard, for giving everyone an even higher pay raise.”
Lightford, who says she’s optimistic of getting enough support, says her own resume includes minimum-wage jobs as a grocery store cashier and as a concession-stand worker at the old Kiddieland amusement park in Melrose Park.