Minimum wage measure appears to die in Springfield

SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Despite overwhelming support from voters at last fall’s general election, an increase in the minimum wage appears to be dead in the spring session of the Illinois General Assembly.

Demonstrators were still rallying for it in the Capitol as recently as last week, and Sen. Kimberly Lightford’s Senate Bill 11 passed that chamber 35-18 in February.

The Maywood Democrat’s bill would increase the hourly minimum wage from $8.25 to $9 everywhere in the state except Chicago, which is moving toward a wage of at least $13 per hour. But three months later, Lightford’s proposal has yet to move in the House.

SB 11 would take effected July 1, and each year on that date there would be an increase of 50 cents until the state’s minimum wage reached $11 in 2019. Chicago Democratic Rep. Art Turner is chief sponsor of the legislation in the House. With some legislators focused on dodging deep program cuts and eliminations, Turner says the minimum wage bump may end up sidelined — for now.