SPRINGFIELD - At a press conference with other Democrat state senators and state representatives Wednesday, State Senator Karen Lightford called for a minimum wage hike to be voted on before the end of 2014.
"We see no need to wait for another governor to be sworn in," she said. The senator is pushing for the minimum wage to be $10 per hour in 2015 and to increase by $.50 per year to become $11.00 an hour by 2017.
Lightford said, "The people of Illinois have spoken and they want a minimum wage hike in Illinois. And this is not just a Democrat issue. Voters in collar counties want a raise, too."
In DuPage County, 64% of the voters said they wanted a minimum wage hike. In Lake County, 65% agreed, and in Kane County, 59% and in McHenry 59% supported a minimum wage hike.
"We look forward to a new Illinois where everybody will have a living wage," said State Senator Willie Delgado (D-Chicago).
A representative from Heartland Alliance - which works with poverty-stricken Illinoisans - agreed with the lawmakers' effort.
Gloria Davis - a minimum wage worker - said she is asked, "Why, what's the rush? I need you guys help. Minimum wage workers like me are working hard and I make $8.25 an hour. I'm homeless, too," she said. "Transportation costs too much. I live in a shelter, despite the fact I go to work everyday."
Senator Lightford said 82 of 102 Illinois counties agreed that Illinois should raise itself from the 18th highest minimum wage in the nation - a place it will assume January 1st.