Gov. J.B. Pritzker was expected to sign legislation on Feb. 19, after the Landmark’s press time, to make the minimum wage in Illinois $15 an hour by the year 2025.
Whether that figure will even be considered a living wage six years hence is probably up for debate, but this action is long overdue and is a recognition that people who perform minimum wage jobs deserve the dignity of being paid more than a starvation wage of $8.25.
Not too long ago, we expressed disappointment that all three of the villages the Landmark covers had passed on opportunities to set the precedent now being followed statewide.
We still feel that local governments need to act when those kinds of opportunities to lead present themselves, and we’re glad that the new governor has done just that. Make no mistake, putting money into the hands of minimum wage workers will be a net benefit not only to them and their families but also to many of the very businesses whose owners are decrying the new legislation.
Because that money is not going to be hoarded. It’s going to be spent on goods and services that will help the economy. If, by 2025, $15 is no longer considered a reasonable living wage, we hope the Illinois legislature, if not local governments themselves, revisit the subject.