Emanuel Calls Special Meeting for Minimum Wage Vote

Mayor Rahm Emanuel doesn't plan to wait and see if the state of Illinois passes a minimum wage hike.  

NBC 5 has learned Emanuel called a special City Council meeting to pass the minimum wage ordinance, impacting businesses within city limits. Aldermen were informed of the meeting as early as Wednesday, according to the mayor's office.

The work force committee will meet first at 3:45 p.m. on Monday to discuss the details of the ordinance. A special City Council meeting was called for 9 a.m. Tuesday when a vote will be held.

The mayor's spokeswoman, Kelley Quinn, confirmed the meetings and said the proposal is to raise the wage to $13 an hour.

“We have decided to proceed next week because there is a possibility that there may be an attempt to pre-empt the Chicago ordinance," Quinn said. "Taking this step first is the best way to prevent that from happening. Mayor Emanuel believes that no one who lives in the City of Chicago should have to struggle to reach the middle class.”

The current proposal is to raise the minimum wage in stages.

While most of the aldermen may be on board, many would have also preferred the state to raise the wage first. Those whose wards are along suburban borders are concerned the wage hike will drive business elsewhere.

Mayoral candidate Jesus "Chuy" Garcia issued a statement earlier Friday urging Emanuel to call the council into emergency session.

“More than a week has passed since 34 Members of the City Council went on record supporting a minimum wage hike and opposing efforts in Springfield to stop the city from taking action.” Garcia said. “The votes are there in the City Council. The threat is real. The only thing missing now is the political will to protect the people of Chicago.”

The mayor's office said the special meeting has been in the works for weeks.

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