House lawmakers today advanced a proposal backed by House Speaker Michael Madigan that would put an advisory referendum on the November ballot asking voters whether the state’s minimum wage should be increased to $10 an hour.
The move would help drive Democratic voters to the polls, but also signals lawmakers are unlikely to vote to raise the minimum wage, as pushed by Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn, before the May 31 adjournment deadline. The measure passed a House committee 12-7 along party lines, with Republicans opposed.
“This is an opportunity for the voters of Illinois to weigh in on this very important issue,” Madigan said. “Speaking to a number of members of the House, it became clear there were differences of opinion as to how to address this question, I believe the issue deserves a statewide discussion… It’s clear we need to be doing more to reduce economic equality.”