Minimum Wage Increase A Major Victory for Illinois Working Families

Illinois legislature passes bill to steadily increase the state’s minimum wage to $15 by 2025.


February 15, 2019

Contact: Ishena Robinson
(P) 312-549-9879

CHICAGO—After years of persistent advocacy with and for low-wage workers in Illinois, the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law celebrates the state legislature’s passage of a bill that will steadily increase the state’s minimum wage and bring it to $15 by 2025. Once this bill is signed into law, 1.4 million workers in Illinois will be assured of a raise as the minimum wage increases over the next six years.

The typical Illinois worker earning less than $15 an hour is an adult woman working-full time, and likely to be a parent. The Shriver Center works to advance opportunity for all, and the passage of this bill is a major victory for low-income families in Illinois who for too long have struggled on a minimum wage that is essentially a poverty-level wage. Everyone deserves to earn enough be able to take care of themselves and their families and now our state is much closer to making that goal a reality. Critically, this increase will also have a significant impact on the incomes of women of color, who make up a disproportionate number of minimum wage workers across the country. The Shriver Center applauds state leaders for taking this step to make Illinois more equitable, in part by supporting economic opportunity for the communities that need it the most.

This long overdue increase in wages will not only positively impact working families and communities across the state, it is also projected to boost the Illinois economy by billions of dollars a year by putting more money in the pockets of everyday people who will spend in their communities. This wage increase will result in a net benefit for both workers and businesses. We are heartened by Governor J.B. Pritzker’s stated desire to prioritize the economic security of low-income Illinoisans, and we encourage him to promptly sign this measure into law. We also encourage the Governor to see this as a starting point and not an end point for putting Illinois on strong economic footing.


The Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law provides national leadership in advancing laws and policies that secure justice to improve the lives and opportunities of people living in poverty. We specialize in practical solutions. We advocate for and serve clients directly, while also building the capacity of the nation’s legal aid providers to advance justice and opportunity for their clients.

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Everyone should be paid decently and have basic workplace protections.

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