Referendum to Raise Minimum Wage Inches Forward

Referendum to Raise Minimum Wage Inches Forward

Photo: Newsradio WTAX

We may see a referendum asking the public whether the state should raise the minimum wage.

The Revenue Committee in the Illinois House approved the idea Friday, with the support of House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago).

“There will be economic ramifications all across the board. The simple question is, do you want the government to help the people at the bottom, or do you not? That’s it. I’m here for the people at the bottom, for this bill to try and help lift them up. That’s it,” he said.

The referendum, which would be non-binding, asks whether the state should raise the minimum wage to $10 an hour. It’s now $8.25.

Business organizations testified in opposition, suggesting it would prevent hiring of entry-level workers. “If they’re not hiring, particularly in the 16-24 age category, and we know they’re not, particularly inexperienced workers, workers who don’t have basic job skills, at $8.25, we doubt we’ll see an increase at $10,” said Rob Karr, head of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association.

Legislation has been introduced in Springfield to raise the minimum wage to $10.65, but the speaker has been having trouble rounding up the votes to pass it.

Recent Headlines

in Local

Opponents Upset Chief Illiniwek Merchandise Still Available Online

u of i urbana

Assistant Athletic Director Marty Kaufmann says the items are available because there wasn't "any edict to wipe all history or tradition from our books."

in Local

Lisa Madigan Calls for More Compassion Towards Victims of Sex Crimes

Lisa Madigan

The state's Attorney General says a shift in attitude toward victims of rape, sexual assault, and other such crimes will lead toward more of these crimes being reported.

in Local

Arrest Made in the Murder of a Former Pleasant Plains Woman

kendra hatcher

One suspect is in jail and another is being sought in the murder of a former Springfield area woman.

in Local

Alleged Improprieties Force Out Two Parole Board Members

wtax 011015

Two members of the Illinois Prisoner Review Board have been removed in the wake of published reports of erroneous filings with the state and the federal government.

in Local

Rauner Addresses Concerns of State’s University Presidents


The Governor was in Urbana Friday to address the concerns of nine presidents over universities in Illinois.