Gov. Pat Quinn has proposed raising Illinois' minimum wage from $8.25 to $10 an hour.
He outlined the plan during his annual State of the State speech before lawmakers on Wednesday.
Quinn says nobody should work 40 hours a week and live in poverty. The federal rate has been $7.25 an hour since 2007.
"Our shared vision for a better Illinois also means we must honor the productivity of our workers," said Quinn. "Our businesses are only as good as the employees who drive their success. Nobody in Illinois should work 40 hours a week and live in poverty. That's a principle as old as the Bible. That's why, over the next 4 years, we must raise the minimum wage to at least $10 an hour, he said. "Senator Kimberly Lightford, you are doing the right thing with your mission to raise the minimum wage. And as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, it's always the right time to do the right thing," said Quinn.
The current Illinois rate took effect in July 2010, when it increased by a quarter. The U.S. Department of Labor says only two other states - Washington and Oregon - have a minimum wage higher than Illinois.
A proposal to raise the minimum wage came up in the state Senate last year but wasn't called for a floor vote.
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