"Make no mistake, this did not happen overnight, nor did it happen without the powerful voices of those who fight for workers' rights," Pritzker said at a news conference before signing Senate Bill 1.
"It took years of advocacy by so many people across the state and a willingness by business to sit at the bargaining table to hash out a deal so that the people of Illinois wouldn't have to wait any longer," he continued.
The House voted Thursday to pass SB 1 by a 69-47-1 margin, sending it to Pritzker's desk one week after it passed the Senate.
The measure increases the current $8.25-an-hour base wage by $1 on Jan. 1. After a 75-cent jump July 1, 2020, it will increase $1 each Jan. 1 until 2025.
Democrats who control the General Assembly moved quickly on the bill because Pritzker wanted to sign the bill into law before he proposes his first annual budget, scheduled for Feb. 20.
"Our work is not over," Pritzker said Tuesday. "Tomorrow I will present a budget that begins to stabilize our state finances while starting to rebuild our human services, our universities and P-12 education and our public safety, along with the funding needed to make this minimum wage a reality."
The bill was opposed by several high-profile groups, including the Illinois Manufacturers' Association and the Illinois Retail Merchants Association, and both groups issued statements condemning the measure after it passed the House.
"On behalf of the retail community, we are disappointed that a readily achievable compromise was not adopted on such an important matter," the IRMA said in a statement.
California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and the District of Columbia have adopted laws to increase the base wage to $15 before Illinois reaches the mark in 2025.
But Illinois stands alone in the nation's midsection, surrounded by states with lower wages. Indiana, Wisconsin, and Iowa offer the federal minimum wage of $7.25. Missouri currently offers $8.60, a wage scheduled to increase to $12 by 2023.