Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker has signed a move to gradually raise the state minimum wage to $ 15 an hour by 2025, the highest in the Midwest.
It was one of the campaign promises of the new Democratic governor. He signed the six-year plan Tuesday at the governor's mansion.
"For nine long years, many forces have opposed the idea of giving an increase to people who are working so hard to provide home care to the elderly, caring for children for toddlers, who wash dishes at the restaurant and who farm our fields, "Pritzker said, according to the Chicago Tribune. "Today is a victory for the cause of economic justice."
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Illinois is about to be the first state in the Midwest to raise its base salary to $ 15. The jump jump from $ 8.25 to $ 1 on January 1 and increases to $ 10 on July 1, 2020. It then increases by $ 1 on January 1, 2025.
It is currently estimated at 1.4 million the number of inhabitants of Illinois earning less than $ 15 at the hour.
Business groups opposed the plan. They wanted a gradual and regionalised approach with lower minimum wage levels for areas outside of Chicago.
Pritzker noted that the law provided payroll tax credits to ease the transition of employers.
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The state's Republican party also opposed the decision, which on Tuesday called the signing of the minimum wage "only the beginning of J. B. Pritzker's war against taxpayers and small businesses".
"It's only the beginning of J. B. Pritzker's war against taxpayers and small businesses," said Illinois Republican Party chairman Tim Schneider in a statement. "Almost doubling the minimum wage will destroy basic jobs, raise prices for consumers and cut budgets at all levels of government. Pritzker is committed to governing differently and listening to all parties and stakeholders, but these have proven to be meaningless words. "
Associated Press contributed to this report.