Think Progress has taken a look at the proposed increase in the Illinois' minimum wage:
On Nov. 16, the Illinois State Senate approved a $1 increase in the state minimum wage, putting it at $7.50 an hour. The proposal would go into effect on July 1, and would increase every year to account for inflation.Think Progress, Kid Alias and I want you to Call Your Rep and ask to have this modest -- $7.50/hr X 40 hrs/wk X 52 wks/yr = $15,600/year -- minimum wage bill brought to the floor for a vote.
Conservative lawmakers objected to the measure, saying a minimum wage increase would come “at the expense of Illinois jobs” and put “our business climate in jeopardy with the surrounding states when we increase the cost of doing business.”
But a March 2006 report by the Fiscal Policy Institute found that increasing the minimum wage actually helps job growth:
[T]his report examined recent state-by-state trends for small businesses employing fewer than 50 workers and found that employment and payrolls in small businesses grew faster in the states with minimum wages above the federal level than in the remaining states where the $5.15 an hour federal minimum wage prevailed.
This report also found that total job growth was faster in the higher minimum wage states. Faster job growth also occurred in the retail trade sector, the sector of the economy employing the most workers at low wages, in the higher minimum wage states.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch notes, “Illinois’ minimum wage last was raised in 2003 to $6.50 an hour. At that level, a mother working full-time to support her child makes $13,520 a year, barely above the federal poverty line.”
It’s now up to the Illinois State House to bring the minimum wage legislation to the floor for a vote. An increase would mean a direct raise next year for 308,000 people in Illinois.