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Progress Illinois

Chicago Council Committee Holds Packed Minimum Wage Hearing

Friends and foes of raising Chicago's minimum wage packed a workforce development committee meeting held Monday to discuss the topic.

The committee received testimony on three different proposals to hike the city's base hourly wage from the current $8.25 to $10, $13 and $15. Committee members did not vote on any of the proposals. And due to the large turnout, the committee is expected to hold another minimum wage hearing at a later date.

The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce and the Illinois Retail Merchants Association spoke in opposition to a local or state minimum wage hike. The Illinois Restaurant Association said it supports an increase to $10.65 an hour.

Alds. Joe Moreno (1st) and John Arena (45th) as well as representatives from Chicago Women Take Action and Just Ventures were among those at the meeting who expressed support for a $15 minimum wage.

A mayor-backed proposal to lift the city's minimum wage to $13 an hour was endorsed by John Bouman with the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law and Ald. Will Burns (4th). Both Bouman and Burns chaired the mayor's minimum wage working group that recommended the $13 level.