Feb. 19 (UPI) -- Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Tuesday signed a bill hiking minimum wage in the state to $15 an hour by 2025.
Under the law, Illinois' minimum wage -- which stands at $8.25 -- will gradually be increased each year until it hits the new minimum. It will increase by $1 each Jan. 1 through 2025 and 75 cents on July 1, 2020.
Chicago's base rate is $12 an hour and will increase to $13 later this year.
"Make no mistake, this did not happen overnight, nor did it happen without the powerful voices of those who fight for workers' rights," Pritzker said.
"It took years of advocacy by so many people across the state and a willingness by business to sit at the bargaining table to hash out a deal so that the people of Illinois wouldn't have to wait any longer."
The Illinois Manufacturers' Association and the Illinois Retail Merchants Associations voiced opposition to the law.
"On behalf of the retail community, we are disappointed that a readily achievable compromise was not adopted on such an important matter," the IRMA said.
Illinois is one of more than 19 states that saw minimum wage increases go into effect or get approved this year.
"Minimum wage increases resonate strongly with so many Americans because people feel like they're working harder than ever but have little to show for it," said Christine Owens, executive director of the National Employment Law Project, in December. "Working people are struggling to pay their bills, but they see that it's the corporations and the wealthy CEOs who are getting the tax breaks. It's just not right."
The boost comes six years after the launch of the Fight for $15 movement in which New York City fast food workers demonstrated for a $15-per-hour minimum wage. The movement caught on in other cities and industries across the United States, including Illinois.