February 4, 2015

Mayor Emanuel Statement Regarding State Minimum Wage Legislation

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

Mayor Rahm Emanuel issued the following statement after the Illinois State Senate Executive Committee passed legislation that would raise the state’s minimum wage to $11 and maintain the Mayor’s plan to raise Chicago’s minimum wage to $13 by 2019.

“I strongly support this bill, because no one who works should ever struggle to reach the middle class or be forced to raise a child in poverty,” said Mayor Emanuel. “Just as we have already raised the minimum wage for roughly 410,000 Chicago workers, this bill will raise the minimum wage for working families throughout Illinois and thousands of Chicago residents who work outside the city.”

On December 2, 2014, the City Council passed an ordinance that will raise the minimum wage for all Chicago workers to $13 per hour by 2019. This measure, sponsored by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Alderman Will Burns, Alderman Pat O’Connor and 31 other aldermen, will increase the earnings for approximately 410,000 Chicago workers, inject $860 million into the local economy, and lift 70,000 workers out of poverty.

Late last summer Mayor Emanuel also signed an Executive Order requiring all City of Chicago contractors and subcontractors pay their employees a minimum of $13 per hour for work performed under a City contract, and requested all sister agencies to do the same.

Throughout his career, Mayor Emanuel has fought for working families to ensure that everyone has a fair shot at the middle class, helping to pass the last two federal minimum wage increases. As chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee during the 2006 elections, then-Congressman Emanuel made a federal minimum wage increase part of the Democrats’ “100-hour Plan” of legislation to be enacted within the first 100 hours of a Democratic Congress. As Democratic Caucus Chairman in the 110th Congress, Mayor Emanuel worked with Speaker Nancy Pelosi to pass the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007 out of the House within the first week of the new Democratic majority. This bill increased the minimum wage by 40 percent, from $5.15 to $7.25 per hour, the first increase in more than a decade.