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State

Illinois Senate proposes $15 minimum wage

In this Nov. 9, 2017 photo, Senate Majority Leader Kimberly Lightford, D-Maywood, speaks at a news conference at the state Capitol in Springfield, Ill. Lightford is chief sponsor of legislation to increase the state’s minimum wage to $15, a plan endorsed by Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker. (AP Photo/John O’Connor)
In this Nov. 9, 2017 photo, Senate Majority Leader Kimberly Lightford, D-Maywood, speaks at a news conference at the state Capitol in Springfield, Ill. Lightford is chief sponsor of legislation to increase the state’s minimum wage to $15, a plan endorsed by Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker. (AP Photo/John O’Connor)

SPRINGFIELD – Business interests are suggesting ways to minimize the impact of increasing Illinois' minimum wage while Democrats in the Legislature rush to send a plan to Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

The Senate Labor Committee heard a measure Wednesday to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour. It has been $8.25 since 2010. Senate Majority Leader Kimberly Lightford hasn't fleshed out her proposal . But the Maywood Democrat says Pritzker wants to sign a law before he presents an annual budget in February.

Rob Karr is president and CEO of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association. He suggests a tiered scale based on living costs in different parts of the state. New York and Oregon have adopted such approaches.

Karr also recommended an extended phase-in period for reaching $15.

The bill is SB1.

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