SPRINGFIELD – The minimum wage in Illinois will increase to $15 per hour by 2025 under a new law signed by Gov. JB Pritzker today. State Senator Robert Peters (D-Chicago) was with the governor when the bill was signed, and afterward released the following statement:

“I am thrilled to see the Governor take such swift action sign into law the bill we worked so hard to pass through the Senate. This minimum wage increase is nearly a decade in the making, and it’s a great day for Illinois now that it’s here. I’m proud to have co-sponsored the bill and am honored to have been involved in helping it get passed.

“Wages have been stagnant for years, despite laborer productivity being at an all-time high. Many people throughout the state work more than 40 hours per week and still don’t take home enough to pay their bills. It’s high time we address this issue that is crippling to so many middle class families in Illinois and restore to them the dignity they deserve.

“I would like to thank Senate Majority Leader Kimberly Lightford for her years of hard work and dedication to this issue. This never would have happened were it not for her. Thanks also to Rep. Will Guzzardi for carrying the bill in the house and ensuring it got the required number of votes in that chamber.

“I would also like to thank the many organizations representing businesses who came to the table and negotiated in good faith; particularly, the Illinois Restaurant Association and its President and CEO Sam Toia. Sam did great work brining restaurants to the table and looking out for folks in Illinois, which ensured that the final bill provided relief to employers while still delivering workers the boost in wages they so desperately deserved. Businesses cannot function without their workers, and it was good to see business leaders recognize that.

“Finally, I would like to thank the many incredible grassroots organizations representing the workers, like Fight for $15, for the tremendous effort they put into organizing the outreach that was crucial to this bill finding the support it needed to pass.

“There is still a lot more work to be done to address the problems that arise from issues like income inequality and wealth hoarding, but an increase in the minimum wage is a great first step toward ensuring that no one is forced to live in poverty.”