Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Minimum Wage Working Group recommended on Monday, July 7th that the minimum wage in Chicago be raised from $8.25 per hour to $13 per hour by 2018. Mayor Emanuel invited the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, other key community, labor and business associations, and aldermen to participate in the Minimum Wage Working

Group in late May after 21 aldermen signed an ordinance that pushed to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour.

After public hearings throughout the city of Chicago and Working Group meetings the recommendation was called for a vote yesterday afternoon and approved 14-3 and reported to Mayor Emanuel. The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce joined the Illinois Retail Merchants Association and Illinois Restaurant Association in opposing the recommendation. The Chamber opposed the recommendation for the following reasons:

1) Illinois is among the slowest states in economic recovery from the
recession and has one of the highest minimum wage rates in the United
2) The Chamber disagrees with the notion that the state of Illinois should have multiple minimum wage rates.

The Minimum Wage Working group recommended that a citywide ordinance not be acted on until after the Illinois General Assembly has had an opportunity to act on a statewide minimum wage increase.

An advisory referendum will be on the ballot this November asking voters whether the state should raise its minimum wage to $10 per hour by January 2015. A minimum wage bill (SB 68; Lightford)that would raise the Illinois minimum wage to $10.65 per hour by July 2016 was voted out of the Illinois Senate Executive Committee in March and was pending on the Senate floor at the end of session. The Chamber and a coalition of business groups oppose raising the state's minimum wage.

The Minimum Wage Working Group was chaired by John Bouman, President,Sargent Shriver Center on Poverty Law, and Will Burns, Alderman of the 4th Ward.

Members included:

• Deborah Bennett, Senior Program Officer, Polk Bros. Foundation

• Matt Brandon, SEIU Local 73

• Carrie Austin, Alderman of the 34th Ward and Chairman of the City Council Committee on the Budget and Government Operations

• Walter Burnett, Alderman of the 27th Ward and Chairman of the City Council Committee on Pedestrian and Traffic Safety

• Sol Flores, Executive Director, La Casa Norte

• Theresa Mintle, CEO, Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce

• Emma Mitts, Alderman of the 37th Ward and Chairman of the City Council Committee on License and Consumer Protection

• Joe Moore, Alderman of the 49th Ward and Chairman of the City Council
Committee on Special Events, Cultural Affairs and Recreation

• Ameya Pawar, Alderman of the 47th Ward

• Maria Pesqueira, Mujeres Latinas en Accion

• Ariel Reboyras, Alderman of the 30th Ward and Chairman of the City Council Committee on Human Relations

• JoAnn Thompson, Alderman of the 16th Ward

• Sam Toia, President, Illinois Restaurant Association

• Tanya Triche, Vice President and General Counsel, Illinois Retail Merchants Association

• Andrea Zopp, President and CEO, Chicago Urban League

The Minimum Wage Working group released its final report today. The full report is available HERE. The report included the recommendation to study the impact of the minimum wage increase over the next few years. The Polk Bros. Foundation has offered a contribution of $25,000 to support this study.