Illinois’ minimum wage will gradually increase starting next year. Governor JB Pritzker made increasing the minimum wage a central issue of his campaign for governor, and he made it his top priority after he took office on January 14, 2019. Approved by the Senate, then by the House, SB 1 was fast-tracked through the General Assembly. Governor Pritzker had asked for a minimum wage increase bill to be sent to him ahead of his February 20th Budget Address, and the General Assembly did just that.

Signed on February 1, 2019, SB 1 became PA 101-0001. The new law is the first increase in minimum wage in Illinois since 2010. Under the new law, the statewide minimum wage will increase from $8.25 to $15 per hour. The gradual increase will start in 2020 with the final increase taking place in 2025. Businesses with less than 50 employees will be eligible for a tax credit starting in 2020; the tax credits phase out by 2025.

Business groups opposed to the increase included the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, Illinois Retail Merchants Association, Illinois Retail Gaming and Operators Association, and the Illinois Manufacturers Association. A counter-proposal by business groups would have regionalized the minimum wage so that areas with a lower cost of living would have a lower minimum wage, but that proposal was rejected. The Illinois Restaurant Association was neutral on the legislation once the 60/40 tip credit for tipped employees was retained.

The increase from the current $8.25 minimum wage for employees over the age of 18 is scheduled to be phased in under the following timeline:

$9.25 by January 2020
  $10 by July 2020       
  $11 by January 2021
  $12 by January 2022
  $13 by January 2023
  $14 by January 2024
  $15 by January 2025

For employees under the age of 18, a similar timeline increases the minimum wage from $8.25 to $13.00 by 2025.

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