SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (KMOX) – The Illinois House has approved legislation to eventually hike the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour.

The increase would be phased in, starting with $9 an hour in January and hitting $15 by 2022.

Supporters say workers need to earn a living wage, and state Rep. Will Guzzardi says this is about the dignity of work.

“If you’re lucky enough to work full-time, making the state’s minimum wage right now at $8.25, that gets you at a little more than $16,000 year,” he says. “I think that we can all agree that that is a substandard wage, that that is not an amount that you can take care of yourself on, let alone provide for a family.”

But opponents, like state Rep. Mark Batinick, say the increase will hurt employers.

“They are fleeing this state, and all we do in this Chamber for the last two and a half years that I’ve been here, is dump on businesses,” he says. “We will lose jobs because of this. This isn’t a situation where we’re Silicon Valley and everybody’s dying to come here.”

The Senate needs to sign off on a change made by the House — if it does, the bill heads to the governor’s desk.

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