A Cook County Board committee advanced a plan Tuesday to raise the minimum wage to $13 an hour by 2020.
The Cook County Board's Legislation and Intergovernmental Relations Committee approved the proposal 12-3. The full Cook County Board is expected to consider the legislation Wednesday.
Cook County Commissioner Larry Suffredin (13th District) proposed the measure, under which the county's hourly minimum wage would go up gradually, with the first increase to $10 taking effect in July 2017.
The city of Chicago has already approved a minimum wage hike to $13 an hour by 2019. Outside of Chicago, the hourly minimum wage in Cook County is currently $8.25.
"In my district, minimum wage workers on one side of the street are earning far less than workers just across the street in Chicago," Suffredin said in a statement. "Our economy is regional, and it's just as expensive to live in most suburbs as it is to live in Chicago. Raising wages for suburban workers is one of the most important things the Cook County Board of Commissioners can do to strengthen our economy."
The People's Lobby is among the groups advocating for the Cook County minimum wage proposal.
"Today's committee vote to establish a Cook County minimum wage of $13 per hour is a tremendous victory for working people," said Pascal Brixel with The People's Lobby. "If affirmed by the full board tomorrow, it will give 200,000 people a desperately needed raise, and, when fully implemented, put almost $10,000 more dollars in the pockets of full-time, minimum wage workers."