Weaver’s bill lets local governments set minimum wage based on region

Republican State Sen. Chuck Weaver of Peoria says local governments concerned about the impact a $15 minimum wage will have on local economies should be allowed to decide what is best for their communities. In a statement, he said: “The new minimum wage law sets a one-size-fits-all pay increase schedule that is disproportionately tough on downstate Illinois.”
Weaver has introduced Senate Bill 3396 to provide for minimum wages based upon a percentage of the otherwise required minimum wage, depending upon the region of the State. The legislation establishes six regions for the purposes of determining the minimum wage. Municipalities or counties would be allowed, by a vote of the local governing body, to opt-out of the state-mandated minimum wage rates and opt-into a regionally adjusted minimum wage which will be statutorily-authorized and statutorily-approved. It provides a sliding scale type of rate – so areas with historically-low unemployment or higher costs of living must keep rates closer to the state-mandated hourly rate. The City of Chicago and Cook County would both be exempt from this proposal. Senate Bill 3396 has been introduced in the Senate and awaits assignment to a legislative committee where it will receive a public hearing. Weaver added, “We think local governments should be allowed to enact ordinances to set a reduced minimum wage that is less than the statewide wage required under Illinois law.”