Senator Jim Oberweis is offering a compromise that would increase Illinois’ minimum wage to $10 per hour for workers ages 26 and older, who tend to be the wage earners with a household and a family to support.
Senate Bill 2552 would raise the minimum wage for workers ages 26 and older to $9.00 per hour on January 1, 2017; to $9.50 per hour on January 1, 2018; and to $10.00 per hour on January 1, 2019. The bill would also prohibit municipalities from enacting their own minimum wage.
“We are seeking to provide a higher minimum wage over the next three years for those workers ages 26 and older,” Senator Oberweis said. “At that age, they have to start to pay for their own medical costs because they can no longer be on their parents’ medical care. And by that age, they’ve probably had a job or two so they have some experience and should be more valuable in the workplace.”
The 25th District Senator says by increasing the minimum wage for adult workers in steps over three years, Senate Bill 2552 will help working families, but will not kill jobs. Citing a Congressional budget office study, Senator Oberweis said a $10-per-hour minimum wage for all workers would cost a lot of typical entry-level minimum-wage jobs.
“We would lose about 500,000 jobs and that would be devastating, particularly to teenagers looking to get their first job and get into the workforce,” Senator Oberweis said. “It would be particularly devastating for minority teenagers who already have a very high unemployment rate and difficulty getting their first job.”
Senator Oberweis offered a similar economically-based minimum-wage compromise in 2014, but it was never allowed a committee hearing or vote.