News Local/State

Illinois Senate Passes Minimum Wage Bill

Senator Kimberly Lightford prepares to speak with reporters about raising the minimum wage on November 19th.

In this Nov. 19 photo, Illinois Sen. Kimberly Lightford, D-Westchester, right, prepares to speak with reporters during a news conference on minimum wage increase legislation at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield Ill (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)

The Illinois Senate has passed legislation that would raise the state's minimum wage, but it happened after the House adjourned Wednesday.

The bill passed the Senate by a 39-18 vote.

Sponsored by Democratic State Sen. Kimberly Lightford of Maywood, the legislation would by 2019 increase Illinois' minimum wage to $11 an hour for workers 18 and older. The bill won't impact Chicago's decision to raise its wage to $13 by 2019.

In the same election in which voters ousted Quinn, they overwhelmingly voted in favor of increasing Illinois' minimum wage to $10.

Lightford said that's why the Senate was right to pass an increase last evening.

"Ladies and gentleman of the Senate, we should be proud of taking the step, on today, to help people, move them out of poverty," she said.

Despite the Senate's action, House Speaker Michael Madigan says he won't call lawmakers back before a new governor is seated.

Gov. Pat Quinn can call the House back for a special session, but he hasn't said he would do so.