Voters will get to weigh in on whether Illinois should raise its minimum wage for adults to $10 an hour. Gov. Pat Quinn approved the ballot question Sunday, and wasted no time campaigning on the issue.
The question is just advisory — lawmakers don’t have to heed the people’s advice — but supporters of the increase say they hope it’ll pressure reluctant legislators to go along.
Critics say this is a ploy to get more Democrats to the polls — since turnout tends to be lower in non-presidential election years.
The Illinois Legislature adjourned its spring session having passed a new state budget and other key measures, but leaving some business undone. Here's a look at what passed and what didn't: BILLS SENT TO GOV. PAT QUINN: Budget: A roughly $35.7 billion budget for 2015 keeps funding flat for schools and most state agencies. Majority Democrats acknowledged the budget is ``incomplete'' because it postpones tough votes about whether to slash spending or find new revenue until after November's election.
Plans to raise the minimum wage in Illinois have struggled all spring. Instead of letting the proposal fail in the General Assembly, Democratic leaders want to put it to voters. The question on the November ballot would be non-binding.
House Speaker Michael Madigan says he wants to ask voters a simple question: "Shall the minimum wage in Illinois for adults, over age 18, be raised to $10 an hour by January first, 2015?"
A new study finds Illinois' overall poverty rate is about the same as it was a half century ago.
The report released Thursday by the Chicago-based Social IMPACT Research Center says almost 15 percent of Illinois residents lived below the federal poverty line in 2012, about the same percentage as in 1960.
That's despite scores of state and federal aid programs and a dramatic drop in the number of older people in poverty.
Poverty has increased among working-age men and women, and 1 in 5 children are in poverty. It's highest among blacks and Latinos.
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn delivered his sixth State of the State address Wednesday. As Brian Mackey reports, Quinn's speech was pretty much what you'd expect from a man fighting to keep his job despite some of the lowest approval ratings of any governor in America.
Quinn laid out a list of proposals that seem finely honed to appeal to Democratic voters: increasing the minimum wage, doubling a tax credit for the working poor, and requiring at least two days of sick time for all employees.
A hike in the minimum wage, sending more children to preschool and more grants for low-income college students are all part of the agenda Governor Pat Quinn laid out Wednesday in his State of the State address. But critics are already calling it fantasy.
Five years to the day after he first became governor, Pat Quinn tried to make the case that Illinois is "making a comeback."
Gov. Pat Quinn says raising Illinois' minimum wage is about dignity and decency.
Quinn reiterated his push Wednesday during his State of the State address. He says he wants to raise the state's $8.25 rate to at least $10 an hour.
"Our minimum wage workers are doing hard work. They are putting in long hours. Yet in too many instances, they are living in poverty. That's not right. That's not an Illinois value. that's not a fair shake."
Governor Pat Quinn gives his sixth State of the State address at noon today in Springfield. It comes in an election year that has Quinn seeking a second full term as governor.
Quinn has spent a lot of time talking about the state's pension problems in recent years. Now, with a bid for re-election on the line, he's turning to more populist issues, like an increase in the minimum wage.
Here's Quinn last month: "When we put more purchasing power in the hands of hard-working people, they're not going to admire the money in the bank vault."
Raising Illinois' minimum wage has emerged as the first significant campaign issue for candidates hoping to become Illinois' next governor. And it could take center stage throughout the year. Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn says he wants to raise the $8.25 hourly rate to at least $10 by year's end. But a coalition of business groups that worry raising the rate would kill jobs say they'll try to stop the efforts.
Next month there'll be an Illinois Manufacturer's Association forum where organizers say minimum wage will be a main topic.
This week's topics include how the debate over the state's minimum wage may affect the Republican candidates for Governor, and calls for a change of leadership at the state's Department of Corrections.
As he campaigns for re-election, Governor Pat Quinn is renewing a push for a hike in the minimum wage.
Illinois' $8.25 minimum wage bests the federal rate by a dollar.Gov. Quinn and other Democrats want to raise it higher; the governor's calling it to go up to $10.
"When we put more purchasing power in the hands of hard-working people, they're not going to admire the money in the bank vault," he says. "They're going to go out and spend that money at stores in their neighborhood, to help that consumer demand, that creates more jobs."
Gov. Pat Quinn is again making a push for raising Illinois' minimum wage. The Chicago Democrat has been visiting black churches in the Chicago area as he ramps up his 2014 re-election bid. On Sunday, he told congregants at Missionary Baptist Fellowship Church that helping those who live in poverty is a principle as old as the Bible. Illinois last raised the minimum wage in 2010.