ClayborneFloor1SPRINGFIELD— The Illinois Senate approved a plan Wednesday to raise the state’s minimum wage.

State Senator James Clayborne (D-Belleville) voted for the increase, raising the minimum wage to $9 per hour on July 1, 2015 and then another 50 cents every year until it reaches $11 an hour on July 1, 2019.

Illinois’ current minimum wage is $8.25 per hour, and it was last increased in 2006.

“We need to raise the minimum wage – not just because it is popular – because working people and families deserve a fair wage for their work,” Clayborne said.

The proposal that passed the Senate also includes a tax credit for businesses with less than 50 employees to ease the transition to the higher rate.

The plan, House Bill 4733, passed the Senate by a 39-18 vote.