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Letter: Minimum wage hike long overdue

To the Editor:

Illinois finally raised the minimum wage for the first time in nine years — and back then, it was only raised by a quarter. That just didn't cut it anymore.

When the costs of child care, education, health care, housing and transportation are all on the rise, wages need to keep up. Families depend on it.

As a business owner and as the mother of three small children, I see this from both perspectives, and they both lead me to the same result: we needed to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

I started my company with my husband, and we did it with a mission to provide opportunity and fairness to everybody no matter their skill set or background. People deserve a living wage, and businesses that provide it benefit from having a respected and fairly compensated workforce.

While my business provides a living wage to our employees, there are plenty of companies out there who didn't. And those hardworking men and women deserved a raise, too.

Consider the impact the new legislation will have on Illinois families:

• 1.4 million Illinoisans will get a raise,

• $6,300 will go into the pockets of low-income workers, and

• 212,000 workers will be lifted out of poverty.

That’s the future I want for my kids and my employees.

The fight for 15 has been a long time coming. It’s been talked about for years and even passed out of the legislature two years ago. And now it's finally becoming a reality.

Illinois took the opportunity to put money in the pockets of a quarter of its workforce.

Jill Thomas

Co-founder and co-owner, Golden Door Coffee, Frankfort

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