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Minimum Wage Question Will Be on Ballot

Minimum Wage Question Will Be on Ballot

Illinois voters will see a question on the ballot in November on whether to raise the minimum wage.

The question is whether the minimum wage should be $10 an hour for workers age 18 and older, starting in 2015.

Gov. Pat Quinn signed the measure to place the question on the ballot. “It’s a chance for the people of Illinois to vote on an issue that affects literally tens of thousands of families and workers in our state. It’s a chance to make sure that we, by year’s end, get the job done as far as raising the minimum wage,” he said at the bill-signing ceremony.

The outcome will be non-binding, meaning whether to abide by the results will ultimately be up to lawmakers, but Quinn believes a show of support at the ballot box will get lawmakers on board.

Another bill the governor signed will make the Illinois Department of Public Health establish statewide rules for food sampling and testing at farmers markets across the state and establish rules for labeling the products in terms of their origin, so customers will know what produce is local and what is not. The law also caps the fee that vendors can be charged for health inspections at $25. Illinois has at least 375 farmers markets.

The minimum wage referendum was sponsored by House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago) and State Sen. Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood). The farmers market legislation was sponsored by State Rep. Michael Tryon (R-Crystal Lake) and State Sen. David Koehler (D-Peoria).

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