Critics, however, fear those jobs could be jeopardized if businesses hire fewer workers or move to other states to avoid paying higher salaries.
Gov. Rod Blagojevich dismissed criticism of the bill he signed into law Thursday as being "hollow.''
Blagojevich said working people will have a little extra money to spend every week and every month, and they'll spend it on things as they provide an incentive to business.
The measure raises Illinois' minimum wage from the federally required $5.15 an hour to $6.50 an hour.