Illinois Bill Summary

Low-Wage Workers in Illinois Are Falling Behind

Hundreds of thousands of workers in Illinois are finding out that having a job is not always enough to stay out of poverty.

There are 400,000 minimum wage workers in Illinois who earn only $17,000 a year, working full-time – well below the annual cost of housing, health care, electricity, groceries, transportation, and childcare. Hardworking people in Illinois, many supporting families, simply cannot earn enough to afford the basic necessities of life.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, had the minimum wage kept pace with inflation since 1968, today it would be over $10.65 – more than $2 higher than today’s minimum wage of $8.25/hr. SB 68 can help get Illinois workers back on track. 

What Does SB 68 / HB 3718 Do?

  • Raise the minimum wage to $10.65 per hour, over three years
  • Maintains current policy on tipped wokers, temporary workers, teens, and other substantive aspects of the state's minimum wage law 

Raising the Minimum Wage Generates Economic Activity

A conservative analysis by the Economic Policy Institute estimates that raising the minimum wage to $10.65 an hour over the course of 4 years would result in a $3.8 billion increase in wage payments to minimum wage earners, and a state GDP increase between $2.0 and $2.8 billion.

Raising the Minimum Wage Won't Cost Jobs

“The one-time academic controversy over the impact of minimum wage increases on jobs is no longer a controversy. The most rigorous statistical studies overwhelmingly show that minimum wage increases target wage growth to the neediest workers, and that they do so without causing job losses.” - Marc Doussard, Assistant Professor, University of Illinois

  • Illinois was the only Midwestern state to raise its minimum wage in both 2004 and 2005, leading to higher job growth in Illinois than many surrounding states with lower minimum wages in both years.
  • Illinois achieved the Midwest’s second biggest improvement in job growth in 2005, the same year it increased its minimum wage by a full dollar. 

Raising the Minimum Wage Helps Workers:

Almost 100,000 Illinoisans work full time and still live in poverty, earning less than $17,916 dollars per year for a family of three. Nobody who works full-time should have to live in poverty.


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