Illinois Minimum Wage Increase Question (2014)

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Minimum Wage Increase Question
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Type:Advisory question
Referred by:Illinois General Assembly
Topic:Minimum wage on the ballot
2014 measures
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November 4
Right to Vote Amendment Approveda
Crime Victims' Bill of Rights Amendment Approveda
Minimum Wage Increase Question Approveda
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EndorsementsFull text
Local measures

The Illinois Minimum Wage Increase Question was on the November 4, 2014 ballot in Illinois as an advisory question, where it was approved. The measure asked voters whether they supported increasing the hourly minimum wage to $10 by January 1, 2015.[1] On November 4, 2014, the state's minimum wage was $8.25 per hour.[2]

The advisory question was introduced into the Illinois Legislature by Rep. Michael J. Madigan (D-22) as House Bill 3814.[3]

Election results

Below are the official, certified election results:

Illinois Minimum Wage Increase Question
Approveda Yes 2,339,173 63.74%

The amount of total votes in the overall election was used to calculate the percent of "yes" and "no" votes, since this number was less than the percentage of people who voted on this question. This may result in the percents for the "yes" and "no" votes adding up to less than 100 percent.
Election results via: Illinois State Board of Elections

Text of measure

Ballot title

The ballot title was as follows:[1]

Shall the minimum wage in Illinois for adults over the age of 18 be raised to $10 per hour by January 1, 2015?[4]


2014 advisory questions

According to the Chicago Tribune, the Democrat-controlled Illinois Legislature referred three non-binding advisory questions to the November 4 general election ballot in hopes of enticing left-leaning voters to come out to the polls. Charles N. Wheeler III, a longtime statehouse reporter and, in 2014, an associate professor at the University of Illinois at Springfield, said, "I would look at it as getting people to the polls, basically to gin up the turnout assuming that if you're excited about voting for an increase in the minimum wage, you're not going to vote for [Republican gubernatorial candidate] Bruce Rauner or any other Republican. It also will give (supporters) leverage because on that issue you assume it's overwhelmingly approved, they can go to the General Assembly next session, if need be, and argue, 'Here is strong support, here are the results from your precinct or your legislative district of what people felt about this and they really want that.'"[5]

2014 minimum wages

Below is a chart detailing the minimum wage in all fifty states, plus the District of Columbia, as of 2014:

State 2014 minimum wage State 2014 minimum wage
Alabama $7.25[6] Nebraska $7.25
Alaska $7.75 Nevada $8.25
Arizona $7.90 New Hampshire $7.25
Arkansas $6.25[7] New Jersey $8.25
California $9.00 New Mexico $7.50
Colorado $8.00 New York $8.00
Connecticut $8.70 North Carolina $7.25
Delaware $7.75 North Dakota $7.25
Florida $7.93 Ohio $7.95
Georgia $5.15[7] Oklahoma $7.25
Hawaii $7.25 Oregon $9.10
Idaho $7.25 Pennsylvania $7.25
Illinois $8.25 Rhode Island $8.00
Indiana $7.25 South Carolina $7.25[6]
Iowa $7.25 South Dakota $7.25
Kansas $7.25 Tennessee $7.25[6]
Kentucky $7.25 Texas $7.25
Louisiana $7.25[6] Utah $7.25
Maine $7.50 Vermont $8.73
Maryland $7.25 Virginia $7.25
Massachusetts $8.00 Washington $9.32
Michigan $7.40 West Virginia $7.25
Minnesota $8.00 Wisconsin $7.25
Mississippi $7.25[6] Wyoming $5.15[7]
Missouri $7.50 Washington, D.C. $9.50
Montana $7.90





The following officials sponsored the measure in the legislature:[3]


HB 3814 "Yes" votes

The following members of the Illinois General Assembly voted in favor of placing this measure on the ballot.[9][10]

Note: A yes vote on HB 3814 merely referred the question to voters and did not necessarily mean these legislators approved of the stipulations laid out in the measure.



Campaign contributions

Total campaign cash Campaign Finance Ballotpedia.png
as of November 6, 2014
Category:Ballot measure endorsements Support: $4,356,249
Circle thumbs down.png Opposition: $0

Though this is a non-binding advisory question, supporters had still raised over $4 million in support of the measure as of November 6, 2014.[11][12]

PAC info:

PAC/Ballot measure group Amount raised
Committee to Raise Illinois's Minimum Wage $1,534,895
Committee to Reduce Income Inequality & to Support Human Rights $2,821,354
Total $4,356,249

Top contributors:

Donor Amount
AFL-CIO Workers Voice PAC $500,000
IBEW PAC Educational Fund $450,000
AFT $425,000
AFSCME $400,000
NEA $250,000



Some Republicans criticized all three proposed non-binding advisory questions as attempts to increase turnout among Democrats at the general election in November. Sen. Kyle McCarter (R-54) said, "Let me interpret this for you. The Dems are loading the ballot with referendums that mean nothing, just so they can get their traditional supporters out to the polls to vote for them, so they can protect their power, position, and pension. Only in Illinois."[13]

HB 3814 "No" votes

The following members of the Illinois General Assembly voted against placing this measure on the ballot.[9][10]

Note: A no vote on HB 3814 meant that a legislator did not want to refer the question to voters and did not necessarily mean these legislators disapproved of the stipulations laid out in the measure.



Reports and analyses

See also: Minimum wage reports and analyses

The following studies are only a small sample of available research on the minimum wage. A broader overview of each study below is available here.

Neutral findings

  • Congressional Budget Office: In a February 2014 report, the CBO concluded that unemployment would rise, but the poverty rate would fall if the federal minimum wage was raised to $9.00 or $10.10. A $9 minimum wage would reduce employment by 100,000 or 0.06 percent, but 7.6 million workers would see their wages increase. A $10.10 minimum wage would reduce employment by 500,000 or 0.3 percent, but 16.5 million workers would see their wages increase.[14]

Findings in support

An Economic Policy Institute video summarizing some of their research and calling for a higher minimum wage.

  • Economic Policy Institute: In Raising America’s Pay: Why It’s Our Central Economic Policy Challenge, EPI economists concluded that despite increasing economic productivity, wages for most workers had stagnated or declined since 1979. They said this had occurred for four reasons: (1) policies that reduced the bargaining power of workers and boosted the bargaining powers of "capital owners and corporate managers;" (2) the globalizing influence of free trade agreements; (3) “[t]he dramatic drop in top tax rates since the late 1970s;" and (4) the Federal Reserve Board's emphasis on decreasing inflation, rather than decreasing unemployment. The study called for both redistribution and predistribution in attempts to increase wages. By "redistribution," the authors meant "taxes and transfers," and by "predistribution," they meant "policies that impact the wages workers receive in the labor market," such as the minimum wage.[15]
  • Institute for Research and Labor Employment: The study looked at minimum wage differences between contiguous counties located in different states. These counties represented good control groups, according to the authors, since there was a difference in base wages between them, but many similar characteristics as well. By looking at counties across a 15 year timespan, the authors concluded, "These estimates suggest no detectable employment losses from the kind of minimum wage increases we have seen in the United States."[16]

Findings in opposition

An Employment Policies Institute video summarizing some of their research and opposing an increased minimum wage.

  • Employment Policies Institute: Economist Bradley R. Schiller examined "employment and family income of minimum wage workers between the ages of 33 and 50, in the years between 1998 and 2006 when the federal minimum wage was unchanged at $5.15 an hour." He found that "concern about the ability of minimum wage employment to provide income support for families is exaggerated. Few adult minimum wage workers have families to support. And those adult minimum wage workers who do have families get substantial income from spousal employment."[17]
  • National Bureau of Economic Research: Minimum Wages and Employment: A Review of Evidence from the New Minimum Wage Research is a review of the literature on minimum wage. David Neumark and William Wascher, the authors, concluded that a "sizable majority" of studies "give a relatively consistent (although not always statistically significant) indication of negative employment effects of minimum wages." Neumark and Wascher expressed a particular concern with disemployment effects on low-skilled workers. They said when research focused on this group, "evidence for disemployment effects seems especially strong."[18]

Path to the ballot

See also: Laws governing ballot measures in Illinois

The Illinois House approved HB 3814 on May 20, 2014.[19] The vote was split along partisan lines, with Democrats voting for the bill and Republicans voting against it.[20] The bill was approved by the Illinois Senate on May 28, 2014.[19] Gov. Pat Quinn (D) was required to sign the legislation in order for the measure to appear on the ballot.[21] He signed the bill on June 22, 2014.[22] Gov. Quinn said,

This November, Illinois voters will have the opportunity to send a clear signal to lawmakers that we must have an economy that works for everyone. Raising the minimum wage will benefit hundreds of thousands of hardworking men and women across our state. Higher wages for employees means they will spend more at local businesses, which in turns boosts economic growth.


Gov. Pat Quinn (D) [23]

House vote

May 20, 2014 House vote

Illinois HB 3814 House Vote
Approveda Yes 71 62.28%

Senate vote

May 28, 2014 Senate vote

Illinois HB 3814 Senate Vote
Approveda Yes 39 69.64%

Similar measures

The following measures related to minimum wage increases were proposed for the general election ballot in November:

See also

Suggest a link

Additional reading


  1. 1.0 1.1 Illinois General Assembly, "Full Text of HB3814," accessed May 21, 2014
  2. Chicago Sun-Times, "Quinn signs measure to put minimum-wage increase on fall ballot," June 22, 2014
  3. 3.0 3.1 Illinois General Assembly, "Bill Status of HB3814," accessed May 21, 2014
  4. 4.0 4.1 Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Chicago Tribune, "Democrats pack Illinois ballot with referendum questions," October 13, 2014
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Tennessee do not have a state minimum wage requirement, so the federal wage of $7.25 is applied.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Arkansas, Georgia and Wyoming all have state minimum wages that are less than the federal minimum wage. When state minimum wage is less than the current federal wage of $7.25, the federal rate supersedes the state wage.
  8. Illinois Government News Network, "Governor Quinn Signs Legislation to Give Voters a Voice in Increasing the Minimum Wage," June 22, 2014
  9. 9.0 9.1, "House Vote on HB 3814 (May 20, 2014)," accessed October 15, 2014
  10. 10.0 10.1, "Senate Vote on HB 3814 (May 28, 2014)," accessed October 16, 2014
  11. Illinois State Board of Elections, "Contributions List: Committee to Raise Illinois's Minimum Wage," accessed December 7, 2014
  12. Illinois State Board of Elections, "Contributions List: Committee to Reduce Income Inequality & to Support Human Rights," accessed December 7, 2014
  13. Belleville News Democrat, "'Only in Illinois': Referendum question on contraception coverage heading to ballot," May 29, 2014
  14. Congressional Budget Office, "The Effects of a Minimum-Wage Increase on Employment and Family Income," February 2014
  15. Economic Policy Institute, "Raising America’s Pay: Why It’s Our Central Economic Policy Challenge," June 4, 2014
  16. Institute for Research and Labor Employment, "Minimum Wage Effects Across State Borders: Estimates Using Contiguous Counties," November 2010
  17. Employment Policies Institute, "Just Getting By? Income Dependence on Minimum Wage Jobs," March 2011
  18. National Bureau of Economic Research, "Minimum Wages and Employment: A Review of Evidence from the New Minimum Wage Research," November 2006
  19. 19.0 19.1 Illinois General Assembly, "Voting History For HB3814," accessed May 21, 2014
  20. Chicago Daily Herald, "Illinois minimum wage could end up a ballot question," May 21, 2014
  21. Chicago Tribune, "$10 an hour Illinois minimum wage referendum likely to appear on fall ballot," May 28, 2014
  22. WGN-TV, "Gov. Pat Quinn approves minimum wage ballot question," June 23, 2014
  23. Quincy Journal, "Minimum wage referendum to appear on November ballot," May 29, 2014