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Proposal would tier Illinois minimum wage based on location

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There's a new push in Springfield to once again change minimum wage in Illinois.

The new proposal would tier minimum wages, depending on where you live.

The minimum wage increased to $9.25 an hour on January first.

It's scheduled to increase again July first to $10 dollars an hour.

At Water Works in Quincy, a number of employees are minimum wage workers.

They got bumped up to $9.25 an hour on January first, per Illinois law, with pay is set to increase again July first to $10 an hour.

They will get a raise every year until they reach $15 hour in 2025.

"If they were to change the law and get it towards regionally, and drop the minimum wage it would help this area a ton."

Rob Warning | Water Works Owner

Owner Rob Warnings likes Senator Jil Tracy's proposed legislation that would set minimum wage based on where you live in Illinois.

For example, people would make more money in Chicago where cost of living is much higher than in Quincy.

At Domestics, Etc. in Quincy owner Joy Berhorst agrees a $15 hour minimum wage is hard on small business owners in Quincy.

"I think rationalized might be a really good idea. Again just because we are a smaller community and you do want to try to keep things within a reasonable amount. The cost of living is probably lower than what it is in some of those other places that they are raising it to the $15.

Joy Berhorst | Domestics Etc. Owner

Berhorst says a lower minimum wage in Quincy would give her an opportunity to offer more merit-based pay, instead of giving people forced increases.

Berhorst also says, "It doesn't seem fair that you've got that employee that's been with you for 10 years. We've been in business 23 years, what do you do with those girls that are already above minimum wage, where do you put them at?"

It's unclear if this proposal will gain enough support to become reality.

It would have to make it through the Democratic-controlled General Assembly and be signed by the governor, who has supported a higher minimum wage.

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Read the bill SB3396 below:

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Charity Bell

Multimedia Journalist at WGEM

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