Illinois dems aim high with minimum wage proposals


The future of Illinois…

Despite this proposal stalling, I guess this is one way the demorats can prove they aren’t out of touch with their supporters.

From MyFoxChicago (AP): Amid a national push by unions and worker advocates for a $15 minimum wage, Illinois Democrats hope to pass an ambitious hike during the spring legislative session, despite a warning from Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner that he opposes an increase of any kind.

The proposal would lift the state’s minimum wage from its current $8.25 to $15 over the next five years, a more accelerated leap than previous adjustments in Illinois. It also would constitute a larger jump than increases toward $15 approved last year in New York and California, where the rates had been $9 and $10, respectively.

But, as with previous efforts in Illinois, the measure is likely to be tied up in the state’s electoral politics.

Sponsors of the legislation acknowledge Rauner’s opposition but have signaled they want to force him to act on the measure ahead of next year’s gubernatorial election, in which he already faces half a dozen Democratic challengers.

“We will get a really good opportunity to see where the governor stands,” said Rep. Will Guzzardi, a Chicago Democrat sponsoring the wage bill in the House. “Does he side with the 2.3 million people in this state who need a raise now or does he side with the big corporations?”

In the past, Rauner has said he supported minor increases in the minimum wage. But he told the audience at a business forum on April 13 that requiring employers to raise pay is out of the question. “That’s not gonna happen,” Rauner said. “Companies will just leave.”

Democrats say they have considerable support for the $15-per-hour measure in the House, and expect a floor vote in May. The Senate is also considering two minimum wage bills, one similar to Guzzardi’s and a less ambitious one that would raise the wage to $11 by 2021.

In 2014, Democrats placed an advisory referendum on the Illinois ballot asking voters whether they supported a minimum wage increase in an effort to motivate their base to go to the polls. The referendum secured 67% of the vote in the same election that Rauner won his first term in office. During the campaign, Rauner was criticized by his rival, former Gov. Pat Quinn, for statements supporting a reduction of the minimum wage.

Illinois has raised its minimum wage above the federal floor, currently $7.25 per hour, twice in recent history – first in 2003 and again in 2006 to $8.25, where it’s remained since 2011. That leaves Illinois with a lower rate than 20 others nationwide, but above every state it borders.

Business leaders claim increasing the rate puts Illinois at a competitive disadvantage, driving companies across state lines or forcing them to reduce staff. Labor unions and other allies of the national “Fight for $15” campaign contend raising the minimum wage boosts the economy by putting more money into pockets of low-wage workers, decreasing reliance on government assistance.

Advocates say anything less than $15 falls far short of the cost of living for millions of Illinoisans. They point to research including a 2016 report from the University of Illinois that shows at least 34 percent of Illinois workers earn less than $15 an hour, many of them while helping to support a family.

The report projects an increase to $15 would result in just a 0.78 percent employment decline while yielding an extra $2.4 billion in tax revenue.

Robert Bruno, a professor of labor relations at the university who co-authored the report, said research on previous increases indicates companies are able to recoup additional labor costs by raising prices a few cents on the dollar and benefit from enhanced worker productivity and purchasing power.

Some business organizations, including the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, oppose any increase above federal levels. Others, like the Illinois Restaurant Association, are willing to consider a more incremental adjustment – something some economics experts also recommend, warning against potential job loss resulting from more substantial leaps.

Sen. Kimberly Lightford of Maywood, the Democrat sponsoring both Senate proposals, has been advocating for a higher rate since 1999 when she first proposed what became Illinois’ 2003 increase. She said if the federal minimum had risen with inflation since its peak in 1968, it would be $11 today. “I cannot sit back and allow millions of working people to receive no wage increase at all because it could not be the $15,” she said.

The bills are HB198, SB1738 and SB2.


14 responses to “Illinois dems aim high with minimum wage proposals

  1. Will greatly accelerate automation in Illinois and accelerate increasing unemployment. Current unemployment is around 23%. The official rate
    is a fiction achieved by NOT counting the long-term unemployed. This
    slight-of-hand was started by Slick Willie aka the perverted molester in
    the 1990s.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. More unemployment. (Thanks, Democrats!!)

    Liked by 3 people

  3. This will just exacerbate Illinois’ out-migration, thereby further hollowing-out the tax base. Illinois is already one of the states that are losing population the most.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Nice place to be FROM….

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Just… dumb. Do they not have economists (or anyone with a brain) there? The whole thing about higher wages is that they provide incentive to work hard, work jobs others don’t want, work the same job for YEARS, make more money for your employer (which is what real wages are based upon), increase your ability through apprenticeship or education, etc. But to simply say you can’t make a “decent living” unless McDonalds pays you a pre-determined wage is just asinine.
    Most employers won’t go for it UNLESS the government mandates it. At which point the employer will stop hiring folks at those positions or simply pull up and move elsewhere. Lose-lose.
    And it’s all based on the failed socialist value that “we’re all the same, nobody is exceptional, everybody deserves the same reward, “just because”.”
    And it gives folks the false sense that they can have a dozen kids just because they’re able to, without regard to how they’ll be able to afford to raise them… because they’ll just demand the government (or employers, at the government’s demands) virtually give them money to do so. And who funds that? Taxpayers. And homeowners to a greater extent. Those who’ve busted their tails to work and afford to live within their means…
    Then again, unions got into that business as well in the 80s and 90s, but at least they provided a unified work force of proven value to employers. And, as mom likes to remind me, a home & education for me to forge a better life.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. IT must be the “gunsmoke” in the air, they are too stupid to understand the consequences that other jurisdictions have experienced after adjusting wages to pie in the sky $15.00 a hour. When you have an electorate that is so stupid that they really think that ANY JOB should be paid at $15.00 a hour . . . you really have a very big problem. Amongst those wishing to have this marvelous boon are those who are marginal persons . . . those who are slow, perhaps both intellectually and physically. They have failed to conceive that in this kind of atmosphere only the very best workers will be retained, the strongest, the quickest, the youngest, all those who can prove that they are approaching the worth of $15.00 an hours . . . . . other people, unfortunately, will be cast aside. Let’s hope that along with the legislation for higher wages, that they have allocated more monies for Welfare, in order that they may accommodate those persons who do not retain these fabulous $15.00 an hour jobs. As we have seen in Seattle, all these quaint little restaurants, bakeries, etc have had to close down because their margins just will not support paying this kind of money. True, the costs of these pay increases are ultimately passed onto those who purchase the goods and services of these small businesses . . . but really how many hamburger meals do you have to sell at $12.00 each to pay for the increase in wages. Then we start experiencing the fact that those on stagnant income (Social Security, Disability, etc.) are no longer able to pay $12.00 for this same hamburger. It defies imagination how very stupid people are, and how very willing they are to shoot themselves in the foot.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. ManCavePatriot

    This ‘stupid’ move will result in one of several responses: Less employment, more automation, or business closings. None of these outcomes empower the worker. But hey, Chicago, like the ad says, “Have It Your Way”, but hold the pickles, lettuce, and jobs.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. “Sen. Kimberly Lightford of Maywood, the Democrat sponsoring both Senate proposals, has been advocating for a higher rate since 1999 when she first proposed what became Illinois’ 2003 increase.”

    She can’t even take care of her own constituents. A grocery chain (ALDI) just pulled out of Maywood months ago, because crime in Maywood is comparable to the worst neighborhoods on Chicago’s South & West Sides. Other neighboring suburbs that are almost as bad, have put up barricades limiting traffic from Maywood. And nobody’s showing up at her doorstep willing to invest in Maywood.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Illinois had better get their budget under control before they start making such ridiculous promises. They are going broke from the wages they pay their teachers and the retirements they are receiving. Some as much as over 300,000 per year. Who makes those kind of deals?
    Their fiscal irresponsibility and crime are forcing people to leave.
    The liberals have distorted the needs of the country over the wants of those that are greedy.
    Fast food wages and many like them were designed to offer entry jobs for the young. You were suppose to have the gumption to crawl out and move on the greener pastures. It is not the responsibility of the people to finance your dreams when you refuse to help yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. The logic here is clear. There’s only so much money – they feel it’s up to government to say how it is spent and who it goes to.
    So if you don’t collect the money from one place you have to get it from another. Think of the old time tile game whare you only had one space. Every time you move the tile it fills a hole – and it leaves a hole.
    Cut the end off the blanket and sew it to the other end. See how that makes the blanket longer? Well, at least on one end.

    The parable of the $100.00 Bill…..
    One day a businessman came into a hotel. He laid a $100 Bill on the desk and said “I want your best room”. The manager told him that there were two very nice rooms at the top of the stairs.
    While the man went to see if he liked one of the rooms, the manager grabbed up the $100.00 bill and ran accreoss the street to pay his mechanic. The mechanic ran and paid what he owed the grocer who ran to pay his car payment. The car salesman took the $100 and paid his ‘massage’ bill. The massage girl took the $100 and paid the hotel manager for her massage room bill.
    Meanwhile the salesman came back down scooped up his $100 bill from the counter and said ‘No way would I stay in this dump”, and left….with the $100.
    Everybody’s bill got paid but nobody really had any money.

    The moral of the story.
    Just because you have money in your hand doesn’t necessarily mean it’s your money.


  11. Why $15 an hour? Why not $20, or $30, or $100. If you really want to pay a living wage, do it. Businesses will close, leave the state, or increase automation, resulting in fewer jobs. But don’t take my word for it. Go ahead and see for yourselves.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Thanks for this article, DCG. And the choice of photo is perfect.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. They can’t figure out or don’t care that cost gets passed to customers. Recently I read that in some states, restaurants add 3-4% “minimum wage surcharge” but most don’t tell you, unless you ask.

    I live in Missouri sort of near Illinois border. For decades now, many IL residents near MO cross our border to get items usually cheaper here, mostly gas and cigarettes. St. Louis is wanting to raise wages too, and of course will be price hike. There’s an old candy store/eatery in a sketchy, rundown part of STL city that reluctantly raised starting wage and prices a few years ago. Owner said they’ve cut employee hours and hire fewer people. Also seen decrease in business, mostly after dark – some people are afraid of crime.

    Liked by 1 person

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