Governor JB Pritzker signs into law $15 minimum wage in Illinois

“This is a monumental day for our state, a day that redefines what it means to live and work in Illinois,” stated Governor JB Pritzker after he signed Senate Bill 1 on Tuesday, Feb. 19, making Illinois the first state in the Midwest to phase in a $15 minimum wage over the next six years.

The bill, which originated in the Senate, was approved by the Senate on Feb. 7 and then by the House on Feb. 14 before being sent to the governor for his signature.

Following the House’s approval, Pritzker applauded the legislation and called it a “resounding victory for the 1.4 million Illinoisans who will soon get a hard-earned and well-deserved raise.” He added, “Phasing in the minimum wage over the next six years will put $6,300 a year into the pockets of nearly a quarter of our state’s workforce and billions of dollars into local economies in every corner of our state.”

Pritzker stated at the bill signing this week, “Ladies and gentlemen, today is a great day for Illinois’ working families. And it has been a long time coming. It’s been nine long years since workers got a raise. And even nine years ago, the raise amounted to 25 cents an hour.

“For nine long years there were an array of forces lined up against giving a raise to the people who work hard to provide home care for seniors, child care for toddlers, who wash dishes at the diner and who farm our fields. Today is a victory for the cause of economic justice.”

For more on this story, please see this week’s print edition.