Illinois House passes minimum wage proposal

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- Updated Feb. 14, 2019, 4:35 p.m.

A $15-an-hour minimum wage is headed to Gov. J.B. Pritzker after the House approved the six-year plan.

Thursday's 69-41 vote in the House almost guarantees it will become law.

Pritzker, a Democrat, has pledged to sign it before Wednesday. That's when he unveils his first annual budget plan. He stood on the House floor during the roll call with the bill's sponsor, Rep. Will Guzzardi of Chicago.

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An Illinois House committee has approved a plan to increase the minimum wage to $15 over six years.

The Democratic-controlled Labor and Commerce Committee's 19-10 vote on Wednesday along party lines sets up a floor vote as early as Thursday. Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker campaigned on the issue and told lawmakers he wants to sign the law before his Feb. 20 budget address.

The Senate approved the plan last week .

The proposal would increase the $8.25-per-hour base wage by $1 on Jan. 1. It would increase incrementally until reaching $15 in 2025.

Major business interests believe the ramp-up is too fast for them to absorb costs. And they complain that the wage should be regionalized to reflect lower costs of living outside Chicago.

The bill is expected to be debated on the House floor on Thursday.