- Published: 02 June 2015
SPRINGFIELD – The minimum wage would gradually rise to $11 an hour and millions worth of corporate tax loopholes would be closed under a legislative agenda Illinois Senate Democrats are rallying behind as negotiations with Governor Rauner have stalled.
“As I talk to residents of the 5th Senate District, they tell me that they are concerned with opportunities to advance the middle-class, including an increase in the minimum wage. They are also concerned that corporations are not sharing in the sacrifice so many are talking about today. That is why I’m supporting and will work to pass the middle-class economic agenda put forth by my colleagues and I,” Senator Van Pelt said.
Senator Van Pelt specifically pointed to three key provisions in the Senate Democratic plan:
- Minimum wage. Increases the state minimum wage to $9.00 on July 1, 2015 and by $0.50 each year thereafter until the minimum wage reaches $11.00 on July 1, 2019. Provides a three-year tax credit for employers with less than 50 employees.
- Healthy Workplace Act. Guarantees up to seven paid days of sick time to full and part time employees. Sick time would accrue at a rate of one hour for every 30 hours worked. Employees would not be able to take sick time for the first 120 days of employment
- Corporate loopholes. Ends a variety of corporate tax breaks including corporations ability to automatically receive a tax breaks for production outside of Illinois. Closing these loopholes will bring the state $334 million.
“This plan will help counter the plans of the administration, which will do nothing to help working families and will do everything for corporate interests. The residents of the 5th Senate District want change that helps, not hurts middle-class families,” Senator Van Pelt said.
The new provisions come as Gov. Rauner has threatened to shut down state government and all state services if lawmakers don’t reduce worker protections, make it harder to sue corporations that make dangerous products and slash billions of dollars in services to at-risk children and seniors.
Senator Van Pelt plans to co-sponsor the legislation along with numerous other Senate Democrats. The proposals could be in final form for possible votes should lawmakers be called back into session this summer.