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IL: Chicago Advances Ordinance to Raise Wages

Recently, in our Stateside Dispatch highlighting alternative strategies to raise wages around the country, we highlighted a proposed ordinance with widespread support in Chicago. That proposal -- which raises the bar on wages for large retailers -- has now passed through the city's finance committee and is moving closer to a vote of the full council.

Sponsored in its original form by Alderman Joe Moore (Ward 49), the ordinance in question would require large retailers to pay at least $10 an hour in wages and $3 per hour in benefits. Wal-Mart has threatened to not expand into the city if the measure passes, but made similar threats in Maryland before that state passed its "fair share" bill, yet the company continues to expand its operations there.

In fact, a poll of Chicagoans shows that the measure is backed by 84% of the city's residents. Nearly 70% continue to support the ordinance even when told that Wal-Mart is threatening to not build new stores if the measure passes.

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