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updated: 5/28/2014 8:39 AM

Ill. Senate panel OKs minimum wage ballot measure

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Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD -- An Illinois Senate committee has approved a plan to ask voters whether the state should increase the minimum wage to $10 an hour.

The plan to put the nonbinding question on the November ballot passed the Executive Committee on Tuesday by a 10-5 vote. The measure comes after Democrats failed to muster enough votes to increase the state's minimum wage from $8.25 to $10.65 per hour.

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Democratic Sen. Kimberly Lightford of Maywood is sponsoring the legislation. She says the referendum will give unsure lawmakers more confidence to vote for an increase later.

But Republican state Sen. Matt Murphy of Palatine calls the plan a "gimmick" to boost Democratic voter turnout in the election.

The measure now heads to the Senate for further consideration.

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