Today, the minimum wage is raised to $6.50 in Illinois.
Now a full-time minimum wage worker makes $13,000. Before taxes.
The federal minimum wage is still only $5.15. That's $10,300 annually, gross.
The $2,700 difference is huge.
And since there is no job loss from a rise in the minimum wage -- none -- this is a big boost for the Illinois economy, since more Illinois residents will have more money to spend.
In Illinois, helping the Illinois economy.
And lots of the corporations that employ lots of minimum wage workers are owned by shareholders all over the world, so if their profit margin shrinks a bit, that's not Illinois' problem.
Raising wages is great for our state's economy.
And we have lots of people to thank for it, but one person who doesn't get a lot of public thanks lately is Governor Rod Blagojevich.
So thank you Rod. If you hadn't found a way to beat the Republican Party for the first time in 25 years, the state minimum wage would not have been raised.
Thanks to the state AFL-CIO, led by Margaret Blackshire, which put a lot of resources into the campaign even though very few of its members benefit from a raise in the minimum wage (people in unions already get higher wages -- that's why they are in unions).
And thanks to all the Illinois Democrats who ran hard, campaigned hard, donated greatly and walked many precincts to take control of the Illinois General Assembly for the first time in at least a decade.
Now, let's raise it again. And index it so it automatically rises with inflation.