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According to Bureau of Labor Statistics data, workers in food preparation and serving-related occupations made up the bulk of workers earning minimum wage or less in 2013, the Pew Research Center reports. (delo / Pixabay)

At a City Council hearing on Tuesday, committee members discussed a proposal to raise the city’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2021. Activists say it’s long overdue. But could it hurt small businesses? We debate the issue.

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Chicago has seen its minimum wage steadily rise in the last several years, from a hourly rate of $8.25 in 2014 to $13 today. But labor activists and some public officials say it’s not nearly enough.

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Gov. J.B. Pritzker, right, congratulates state Rep. Will Guzzardi, D-Chicago, left, on the House floor at the Illinois State Capitol on Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019. (Justin L. Fowler / The State Journal-Register via AP)

Just a little over a month after becoming Illinois’ governor, J.B. Pritzker signed a law that stands to change the state’s economy by raising the minimum wage from $8.25 to $15 by 2025.

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Illinois state Rep. Will Guzzardi, D-Chicago, testifies before the Labor and Commerce Committee on Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2019 on his proposal to increase the minimum wage to $15 by 2025. (AP Photo / John O’Connor)

Illinois legislators moved quickly Thursday to deliver one of new Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s top campaign promises, a gradual hike in the statewide minimum wage from $8.25 to $15 an hour.

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In this Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019 photo, Laquesha Russell, a 36-year-old home health care worker who makes $10.78 an hour, speaks during an interview as she shops for groceries for her four children in Springfield, Illinois. (AP Photo / John O’Connor)

Illinois is poised to join Washington, D.C., and at least four other states with a $15-an-hour minimum by 2025, an 82-percent spike in current base pay. But it may not be the momentous impact on low-wage workers that some supporters expected.

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Gov. J.B. Pritzker gives his opening remarks along with state Sen. Kimberly Lightford, D-Maywood, left, on Senate Bill 1, a bill sponsored by Lightford to raise the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025, after it passed the Illinois Senate during a press conference in the governor’s office at the Illinois state Capitol, Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019. (Justin L. Fowler / The State Journal-Register via AP)

The Illinois Senate voted Thursday to hike the statewide minimum wage to $15 an hour within six years, quickly advancing a top campaign promise of newly elected Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

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(nosheep / Pixabay)

For the first time since taking full control of Illinois government, Democrats in Springfield are poised to flex their political muscles by quickly passing a statewide hike in the minimum wage.

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(hanmoohyun / Pixabay)

Despite an increase this week to the city’s minimum wage, many Chicagoans still aren’t earning what some researchers call a “living wage.”

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(Trey Ratcliff / Flickr)

A new housing report offers a bleak look at the cost of renting an apartment in Illinois for those earning minimum wage.

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Lane Tech High School (LonleyBeacon)

While many Chicago teachers boycotted going to work today to participate in the Chicago Teachers Union’s day of action, Lane Tech High School teacher Mike DeRoss showed up for work because he felt it was the right thing to do.

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Chicago Teachers Union Vice President Jesse Sharkey started his day at Roosevelt High School in Albany Park. He hopes Friday’s walkout sparks action on the state budget. At Beasley Elementary in the Washington Park neighborhood, CTU President Karen Lewis rallied her troops and argued funding is exactly what the strike is about.

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Thousands of Chicago public school teachers and supporters took to the streets Friday for a one-day strike. Pickets and protests were held all around the city. Eddie Arruza and his guests talk about the strike and other big news on this week’s edition of the Week in Review.

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Demonstrators in Chicago and around the United States are protesting Wednesday for a $15-an-hour minimum wage. Organizers said workers in other countries would also rally, claiming it’s the largest-ever international demonstration by workers.

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Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the working group that came up with the $13 minimum wage proposal take a victory lap after 44-5 vote.

The minimum wage in Chicago is about to go up. A plan to increase it by about $1 each year for the next five years overwhelmingly passed City Council today, despite objections that it will force jobs out of the city, and threats from business groups that they could still undo today's action.

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Mayor Rahm Emanuel supports a recommendation from his task force that the city’s minimum wage be raised to $13. Some City Council members believe that’s not high enough and business owners are against the hike altogether.

Emanuel Halts Wrigley Rehab

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Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago City Council tackle minimum wage, Wrigley Field renovations and more at today's meeting. 

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