Letter from Illinois Voters: Raise The Illinois Minimum Wage!

Dear Illinois General Assembly,

We, the undersigned residents, support Senate Bill 1565, which would raise the minimum wage in Illinois.

Minimum wage workers are working hard but losing ground. Although the cost of gas and food are skyrocketing, minimum wage workers' wages are not being increased to keep up with inflation. The current minimum wage of $8.25 an hour, or $16,500 a year, is keeping working people in poverty and forcing them to depend on public assistance to make ends meet. In this recession, corporate profits have risen dramatically and CEOs are making record bonuses, while ordinary working Americans are still struggling to survive.

The proposed Illinois Minimum Wage Bill (SB 1565) calls for increasing the minimum wage by 50 cents an hour plus inflation every year for over four years until it reaches $10.65 an hour. Going forward, the minimum wage would then be adjusted each year for inflation.

Please listen to your constituents. A recent poll shows that 71% of Illinois voters support increasing the state's minimum wage. There was strong support for the increase in every area of the state.

These are troubled economic times, which is why it is precisely the right time to raise the minimum wage. A higher minimum wage will help stimulate the economy. Low-income families spend all of their additional income on basic necessities at their local businesses. More consumer spending and a higher demand for goods will increase business profits, create jobs and assist in the overall economic recovery.

The existing Illinois Minimum Wage Law states as one of its purposes "to sustain purchasing power and to increase employment opportunities." Further, it states that the standard wage is set to "meet the minimum cost of living necessary for health." Clearly, the current rate of $8.25 an hour, or $16,500 a year, does not meet this standard.

Raising the minimum wage will benefit Illinois' workers, businesses, residents and the economy as a whole. Please stand up for working families in Illinois and vote for Senate Bill 1565.

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