Lightfoot proposes minimum wage hike that would boost tipped workers’ pay

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CHICAGO — Restaurant servers and other tipped workers could soon be making more money under a new proposal from Mayor Lori Lightfoot.

During Wednesday's City Council meeting, Lightfoot presented a plan to increase Chicago's minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2021, and raise the subminimum wage earned by restaurant servers and other tipped workers.

According to the Chicago Tribune, tipped workers may be paid as little as $6.40 an hour so long as their tips bring them up to the city’s minimum, which now stands at $13 an hour. The subminimum wage for tipped workers would be raised to $8.40 next year.

This proposal is part of Lightfoot's 2020 budget, which faces a $50 million shortfall. The mayor met with lawmakers in Springfield Monday, but left without any deals that would help balance that budget.

With the real estate transfer tax pretty much dead for now, the council’s budget committee will have to consider other ways to fill the shortfall.

Lightfoot has insisted property tax hikes are a last resort, and has also talked about halting hiring and cutting some city services.

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