News Local/State

Lawmakers OK Minimum Wage Ballot Measure


The Illinois Legislature has approved a plan to ask voters whether the state should increase the minimum wage to $10 per hour.

The legislation now goes to Gov. Pat Quinn, who supports an increase. The Senate voted 39-17 on Wednesday to put the nonbinding question on the November ballot.

The measure comes after Democrats failed to gather enough votes to increase the state's minimum wage from $8.25 to $10.65 per hour.
State Sen. Kimberly Lightford (D- Maywood) sponsored the legislation. She says the referendum gives unsure lawmakers more confidence to support an increase.
Republicans have called the measure an election year gimmick. State Sen. Jim Oberweis (R-Sugar Grove) says the referendum is meaningless because lawmakers have wage increase proposals available.