A measure seeking to place a non-binding referendum on the November ballot about increasing the state's minimum wage passed in the Illinois House Tuesday by a 71-43 vote. The bill, HB 3814, now moves to the Senate for consideration.
The advisory referendum, spearheaded by House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago), would ask Illinois voters if they support boosting the state's minimum wage from the current $8.25 an hour to to an hourly earning of $10 by January 2015.
“I happen to think we ought to raise the minimum wage,” said Madigan, according to the State Journal-Register. “I do think it merits a full public discussion by all Illinoisans.”
Once voters take up the possible advisory referendum, state lawmakers could “return with that evidence in hand,” the House speaker said, adding that, “We can show people in the legislature that despite the differences, we ought to move ahead with raising the Illinois minimum wage."
Currently, legislation that would gradually increase the state's minimum wage to $10.65 an hour is pending and fails to have enough votes for passage in either the state House or Senate.