information provided by the Office of the Governor
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (February 12, 2019) — On February 7, following the Senate passage of SB 1, which raises the minimum wage to $15 an hour, Gov. Pritzker joined legislators to celebrate. The following is an excerpt of the governor’s remarks:
Today, the state senate made it clear that working families in Illinois deserve a raise, and they’re going to get one.
If you live in this state and put in a hard day’s work, you should be able to afford to put a roof over your head and food on the table.
This is a long time coming, and we’re not done yet, but we’re closer than ever before.
Working families have not gotten a raise in Illinois since July of 2010. 9 years. And that raise was 25 cents.
I don’t need to tell anyone standing with me today that this achievement didn’t happen overnight.
It was the result of years of hard work by leaders in the General Assembly like Senator Kim Lightford, Representative Will Guzzardi, and all of our co-sponsors: Senators Collins, Martinez, Munoz, Hunter, Van Pelt, and Peters.
It was the result of years of steadfast dedication from workers in every corner of Illinois and organizations like Women Employed and Fight for $15 who demanded to be heard.
And it was the result of business groups and business leaders who want to pay workers a living wage, and who are willing to work together to take responsible steps forward.
All of these advocates brought stakeholders together and brought us to this moment when we are on the cusp of bringing a $15 minimum wage to Illinois.
I’m pleased that the interests of communities across this state are represented in this bill.
Workers in East St. Louis and Peoria, doing the same job, deserve to be paid the same wage as workers in Chicago.
A 6-year period will allow businesses time to plan and adapt to this legislation.
This bill has the support of the Illinois Restaurant Association and will allow restaurant workers and restaurant owners to succeed.
And small business tax credits will help ensure that suburban and downstate businesses and non-profits are able to offset the offering of higher wages to their employees.
I also want to be very clear that my administration will propose a balanced budget for the state – taking into account the effect of the new minimum wage.
Human services and social service organizations are going to have the resources they need to pay their workers more and continue serving Illinois families.
Public colleges and universities will get the funding they need to pay their staffs and begin recovering from years of underfunding.
Today was a major victory for working families all across the State of Illinois, but our work is not done. I urge the House of Representatives to take up and pass this legislation. I want to thank Rep. Guzzardi for his leadership on this issue along with Leader Hoffman, Rep. Evans, and their many colleagues who are working in the House to make this happen.
After nine long years, we are now on the verge of Illinois workers getting the raise they deserve.
Thank you to Lieutenant Governor Juliana Stratton for your tireless work on behalf of working families and helping to get this passed, and thank you again to everyone here today and across our state who made this possible.
Pritzker also released the following statement on February 14:
Today is resounding victory for the 1.4 million Illinoisans who will soon get a hard-earned and well-deserved raise. After nearly a decade of delay, I applaud the House and Senate for passing a living wage with the fierce urgency this moment requires. 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. Whether you’re a home healthcare provider in McLeansboro or a janitor in Rockford, hardworking men and women across Illinois deserve a raise and will get one. After campaigning on a promise to put Springfield back on the side of working families, I will proudly sign this historic legislation in the days to come.