$15 an Hour Minimum Wage Law, Pritzker’s Fait Accompli !

From the Governor’s Mansion in Springfield, February 19, 2019 – Surrounded by supporters in the legislature, and members of SEIU who will benefit from the new law, Gov JB Pritzker signed into law SB-1, the law that will set $15 an Hour as the minimum hourly wage a worker will make in Illinois, come 2025. And with his signature, JB Pritzker who was sworn-in as governor just over a month ago, has now marked off his “To Do” list, one of his primary campaign goals — for better or worse!

Under the law, the minimum wage in the state will go from the current $8.25 an hour, to $9.25 in January 20, 2020. Then in June of 2020, it goes up another 75 cents an hour to $10 an hour. Six months later in January 2021, there’s a $1/hour jump to a minimum of $11.00 an hour. It stays at $11/hour for a year, until January 2022, just under 3 years from now when it goes to $12/Hour.

Then it goes up by $1 each January until it reaches $15/hour in January 2025. This was a very divisive bill, where no Republican voted for its passage, where small business operators said it will drive them out of business, and lobbied for a regional approach, with lower minimum wage levels for outstate and downstate. They proposed $15/hour for Chicago, $13/hour for the Chicago suburbs, and $11/hour for downstate Illinois. But this approach was never seriously considered.

What the bill does do for small business, is give them a tax deduction that backers of the bill say will make the transition for small business a much easier change in their costs, by allowing a savings in taxes, that could offset the rise in labor. But business groups are say this deduction is more a gimmick than a real help. They note that fast-food restaurants, which are largely owned by small businessmen as franchise owners, do not get the opportunity to participate in the deduction.