Madigan spokesman: No state wage hike this year
A new proposal to eventually raise the Illinois minimum wage to $11 doesn't appear to be going anywhere until at least next year.
That means Chicago's minimum wage will climb while the state wage of $8.25 will remain in the suburbs, potentially creating a gap between the two regions.
A spokesman for House Speaker Michael Madigan said Tuesday the Chicago Democrat supports raising the minimum wage but won't call a vote on it this year and likely won't before a new class of lawmakers is sworn in next month.
"The complications of the last week or so make it unlikely" enough votes could be found in the House for approval, spokesman Steve Brown said.
The Chicago City Council voted Tuesday to raise Chicago's minimum wage to $10 next summer and to $13 by 2019.
Earlier Tuesday, state Sen. Kimberly Lightford, a Maywood Democrat, said she wanted a new statewide plan would raise the Illinois minimum wage from $8.25 to $9 next summer, then eventually to $11 in 2019. It would also freeze Chicago's minimum wage at $13 and include a state tax credit for businesses, but Lightford said she wasn't yet sure how that benefit would work.
"It closes the gap just a little bit more," Lightford said.
Madigan's refusal to call a vote, though, makes the proposal all but moot.
Republicans largely have sided with Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner, who wants lawmakers to wait until he's in office in January. He supports tying a minimum-wage increase to major business policy changes.
"Let's do it in the context of pro-growth reforms," he said.
Sam Toia, president of the Illinois Restaurant Association, said he wants to see "uniformity" across the state.
State lawmakers still could act before the first Chicago increase takes effect in July.
Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn has pushed hard for a minimum-wage increase and would be expected to sign one into law if lawmakers send one to him. Voters strongly backed a minimum-wage increase in an advisory referendum in November.
If lawmakers don't raise the minimum statewide, the gap between the state's minimum wage and Chicago's would be bigger, a new factor that could help build momentum for a state hike.
State Rep. Marty Moylan, a Des Plaines Democrat, said he supports raising the minimum wage but wants to see specifics of a new plan before committing.
"I don't think we should pursue a border war," he said.