New house bill could raise minimum wage in Illinois

Does hard work always mean financial success? According to supporters of Illinois House Bill 198, there is more to it than that.

Currently, the minimum wage in Illinois is $8.25. The bill would raise it to $15 an hour. The bill’s sponsor, Illinois Rep. Will Guzzardi said the current wage is not enough.

"That fundamental American promise that working hard will advance you and will advance your children and provide for the next generation is broken," said Guzzardi, who represents the state’s 39th district. 

Guzzardi said he believes investing in the people of Illinois and making it easier for them to provide for their families is the way to move the state forward, because that money will go back to the communities where those people live. 

"It’s going to go to the corner store, to the grocery store, to the restaurants, to the movie theater, to business right here in our community. Giving folks a raise will raise the entire economy," said Guzzardi.

George Sheffer is the president of Murdale True Value in Carbondale. He said he believes raising the minimum wage could actually do more harm than good.

"It would be rationing up a couple of different things. One, prices would go up for everybody. No. 2, you would have to take the number of people working for you and you would have to cut the number people that you have, because you have to stay at a certain percentage," said Sheffer. 

The House is expected to vote on the bill in May.

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