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Illinois Senate Approves $15 Hourly Wage For Developmental Disability Health Care Workers

The Illinois State Senate has approved a bill that would raise the wages of workers caring for people with developmental disabilities.  

The provision would raise these health-care providers' pay to $15 per hour, currently at slightly above minimum wage. Sen. Sam McCann, R-Jacksonville, believes the measure is needed to keep good workers. 

"They're going to other jobs because they pay better, and these are skilled people," he said. "These are people who work very hard. They give us their everything. They actually take care of many of our family members so others can go to work and contribute to our economy."

But Fred Flather, Chief of Staff for the Illinois Department of Human Services, claims the increase would cost Illinois $300 million per year. 

The bill passed the Senate and now proceeds to the House. Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed a similar measure last year over fiscal concerns.