Changes May Be in Store for Illinois Business Owners

A new bill that would drastically increase Illinois’ minimum wage emerged in the Illinois House late last month.  House Bill 3718, sponsored by Republican Art Turner, seeks an increase of Illinois’ minimum wage to $9.25 an hour on October 1, 2014, $10.00 an hour on July 1, 2015 and $10.65 an hour on July 1, 2016. Currently, Illinois has the fourth highest minimum wage in the nation at $8.25 per hour, which is a dollar above the federal minimum wage requirement.  The battle for increasing the Illinois minimum wage is nothing new and is often attributed to the fact that Illinois has one of the biggest wealth disparities in the country.

While business owners should be aware of the possible increase to the minimum wage, they should remain realistic about the feasibility of this latest effort.  The process for getting a bill passed in the Illinois legislature is no small task.  For example, a competing measure in the Illinois Senate, Senate Bill 68 has stalled.  With no recent movement on Senate Bill 68, the sponsor has stated that she plans to amend the bill to increase the wage to $10.00 by 2017 and maybe tie the wage to the CPI to allow for annual automatic increases in wages.

Business owners who have questions about complying with minimum wage rules and other state and federal mandates should contact Katherine Olson at kolson@messerstrickler.com or 312-334-3444.