Despite Democratic majorities and a push from the governor, Illinois' legislative session adjourned without a bump in the minimum wage.
Lawmakers settled for putting a non-binding question on the November ballot asking if that's something voters want.
Part of the problem was that legislators from downstate -- from both parties -- were against a hike.
Andrew Biggs says it doesn't make sense to make sense to have a national, or even statewide, minimum wage. Biggs is a scholar with the American Enterprise Institute, a D.C. think tank that leans toward free enterprise.
Illinois' economy was slow to feel the effects of the Great Recession, and has been slow to recover from it. The state's Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity is submitting a five-year plan to the General Assembly, with suggestions for business growth and more state spending.
Voters will get to weigh in on whether Illinois should raise its minimum wage for adults to $10 an hour. Gov. Pat Quinn approved the ballot question Sunday, and wasted no time campaigning on the issue.
The question is just advisory — lawmakers don’t have to heed the people’s advice — but supporters of the increase say they hope it’ll pressure reluctant legislators to go along.
Critics say this is a ploy to get more Democrats to the polls — since turnout tends to be lower in non-presidential election years.
The General Assembly finished its legislative session shortly after midnight Saturday, approving a billion-dollar road construction program.
Democrats started the session with an ambitious agenda: raise the minimum wage, boost college assistance for low-income students, maybe even change Illinois' flat tax into a graduated one. In the end, none of that happened.