raise minimum wageCHICAGO — State Senator Ram Villivalam (D-Chicago) is hailing Illinois’ minimum wage increase, beginning today, as a welcome boon for working families and individuals during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“I’ve advocated for paying minimum wage workers a living wage for years, and this increase will be a welcome change for struggling families who need the extra income because of the pandemic,” Villivalam said. “It’s more important than ever to support those who are fortunate enough to be employed and those who are providing essential services.” 

The state’s minimum wage increases to $10 per hour on July 1, the second increase in a series of increases required by a law that was supported by Villivalam and passed last year. That law requires the state of Illinois to increase the wage by $1 on January 1 of each year for the next five years until it reaches $15 per hour in 2025. 

“Our minimum wage earners really deserve this raise. Until this law took effect in January, they hadn’t seen a pay increase since 2010,” Villivalam said. “I have learned a great deal about the challenges faced by small business owners and have worked to address them in other pieces of legislation. I do strongly believe, in the overall picture, this is a win-win. Workers get the raise they deserve to provide for their families, and businesses have a better shot at retaining their workforce.” 

While this wage increase is a statewide mandate, Chicago and other communities around the state already have higher local minimum wage requirements.