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Community Leaders Condemn Efforts to Block Chicago From Raising Minimum Wage

November 20, 2014

eNews Park Forest

November 19, 2014

Today, community leaders in the Raise Chicago coalition held a press conference and protest outside of the offices of the Illinois Restaurant Association (IRA) in response to the news that IRA and other business lobbyists are pressuring state legislators in Springfield to preempt Chicago’s home rule for raising the minimum wage. Preemption of home rule would prevent Chicago from setting its own minimum wage separate from the state and effectively silence the voices of 86% of Chicagoans who voted to raise the Chicago minimum wage to $15 an hour.

Illinois voters expressed strong support for increasing the state minimum wage to $10, voting in favor of the minimum wage advisory referendum by a 2 to 1 margin. In Chicago, a March 2014 city referendum for a $15 minimum wage garnered 86.3% support from voters. Urged on by IRA and other lobbyists, House Speaker Michael Madigan, Senate President John Cullerton and others are considering including preemption of Chicago home rule in state minimum wage legislation, making it impossible for city legislators to carry out the will of voters to enact a higher city minimum wage.