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State Week: The push to end the subminimum wage for tipped workers

State Week 23 logo (capitol dome)
Brian Mackey
NPR Illinois

A legislative proposal would ensure those who are now paid a lower amount because they are tipped workers to earn at least the minimum wage.

Chicago began a five year phase-out of what is called the "subminimum wage" last year. The latest plan would make it a law across the state.

The minimum wage in Illinois is currently $14 an hour. The subminimum wage for tipped workers is $8.40 an hour.

Supporters say it will help the economy and businesses, like restaurants, who have had difficulty attracting and keeping employees. Tips could still be earned.

But the Illinois Restaurant Association is opposed. A statement said the change would harm small businesses. The group also said the median pay for the workers, when tips are factored, is far above the minimum wage.

Some lawmakers are also calling for tax credits for families with children, businesses and more.

We also discuss a bill to provide more oversight of funeral homes after a crematorium in Carlinville was accused of giving the wrong remains to dozens of families.

And, we get an update on former state senator and a past third party candidate for governor, Sam McCann, as he faces federal charges over misusing campaign money.

Host Sean Crawford is joined by Capitol News Illinois' Hannah Meisel and the State Journal-Register's Patrick Keck.

Hannah covers state government and politics for Capitol News Illinois. She's been dedicated to the statehouse beat since interning at NPR Illinois in 2014, with subsequent stops at WILL-AM/FM, Law360, Capitol Fax and The Daily Line before returning to NPR Illinois in 2020 and moving to CNI in 2023.
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