By: Marc R. Jacobs

On January 12, 2015, during his final hours in office, and without any notice or fanfare, Pat Quinn issued Executive Order 7, establishing a minimum wage of $10.00 per hour for all Illinois state government contracts. The full text of the Executive Order is available here.

The Preamble of the Executive Order states that Illinois’ current minimum wage of $8.25 per hour is “insufficient to provide a living wage” and indicated that the increase was in response to the November 2014 advisory referendum where Illinois voters supported an increase of the State’s minimum wage to $10 per hour.  Quinn sought an increase in the minimum wage during his final weeks in office, but the Illinois Legislature refused to take up the proposal.

Effective immediately, all solicitations by any state agency must include that vendors and their subcontractors pay a minimum wage of $10 per hour, and any pending solicitation must be amended to include the $10 per hour minimum wage.  Further, all State contracts must include the new minimum wage.  The only exception is that the Executive Order does not apply to contracts arising out of solicitations in which all proposals have already been received by the State.  In addition, if a home rule municipality has established a minimum wage higher than $10 per hour, then the higher minimum wage will apply.

There is no public word yet on whether Governor Bruce Rauner, who took office on January 12 soon after the Executive Order was issued, will rescind it.