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State Rep. Turner Introduces Bill To Boost Illinois' Minimum Wage


State Rep. Arthur Turner (D-Chicago) introduced a bill in the House Tuesday that looks to increase the minimum wage in Illinois from $8.25 to $10.65 by 2016.

The bill looks to boost the current minimum wage to $9.25 per hour on October 1, 2014, $10 per hour on July 1, 2015 and finally $10.65 per hour on July 1, 2016. Barbara Flynn Currie, majority leader of the Illinois House, has signed on as a chief co-sponsor.

The recent measure, HB 3718, joins State Sen. Kimberly Lightford's (D-Chicago) push in the Senate via SB 68 to raise Illinois' minimum wage to at least $10.

Raising the minimum wage would help workers better afford basic necessities, but it would also strengthen the economy and benefit small businesses, according to Raise Illinois, a coalition of various groups advocating for a minimum wage increase in the state.

According to the coalition, a $10.65 per hour minimum wage means workers would receive an additional $4,992 per year to spend in the local economy, including small businesses. Bumping the state's minimum wage would provide a $2.5 billion boost to Illinois' economy, the group says.

"No one in Illinois should work full time and still struggle to feed their children or keep a roof over their head," Kimberly Drew, policy associate at Heartland Alliance, a member group of Raise Illinois, said in a statement. "The state minimum wage of $8.25 per hour is out of date with economic reality. Had minimum wage kept pace with inflation, today it would be $10.75 per hour. The Raise Illinois Coalition applauds Representative Turner and Senator Lightford's work on this initiative to help hardworking Illinois families escape from poverty."