Lawmakers in Illinois have approved legislation that will increase the state's minimum wage in four steps.
The legislation will increase the minimum wage to $7.50 in July 2007, $7.75 in July 2008, $8.00 in July 2009, and $8.25 in 2010. The legislation awaits the signature of Governor Rod R. Blagojevich, who says he looks forward to signing it .
The state's minimum wage is currently $6.50 per hour.
Recently, there has been a significant amount of activity on the state level regarding the minimum wage. The last time the federal minimum wage increased was in 1997. However, 29 states have approved minimum wages above the federal level. Ten of those states have tied future minimum-wage changes to inflation.
Democrats have vowed to increase the federal minimum wage when they take control of Congress in January.