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Oberweis unveils minimum wage hike plan

Thursday, Apr 10, 2014

* Bruce Rauner isn’t the only Republican who’s attempting a post-primary pivot

State Sen. Jim Oberweis (R-Sugar Grove), who is challenging U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin in the November election, has reversed his stance on the minimum wage, and unveiled his own plan to raise it to $10 per hour over three years for adult workers.

Oberweis opposed President Barack Obama’s plan to raise the national minimum wage to $10.10 per hour — a plan Durbin supports — before the Republican primary last month, but now has proposed a gradual increase in the minimum wage in Illinois.

His proposal would hike the state’s minimum wage for those who are 26 or older from $8.25 per hour to $9 per hour next year, then again to $9.50 per hour in 2016, and $10 per hour in 2017. The minimum wage for workers between the ages of 18 and 26 would stay at the current rate of $8.25 per hour; for those under 18, it would stay at $7.75 per hour.

The proposal would also bar municipalities from increasing local minimum wages above the state wage.

* Sun-Times

“Some are concerned. Some acknowledge that this is a workable compromise,” the state senator from Sugar Grove said. “I will be working with business leaders and with lawmakers from both sides of the aisle to make a minimum-wage increase possible without the very real economic harm that other minimum-wage proposals could cause.”

In targeting only older workers, Oberweis said he is being sensitive to “the difficulty working men and women face when trying to support their families.”

A Durbin aide condemned Oberweis’ plan because it would relegate a large swath of full-time workers to poverty.

“Sen. Durbin believes that no one who gets up and works hard on a full-time basis should live in poverty, but state Sen. Oberweis clearly disagrees,” Durbin spokesman Ron Holmes said. “The sad reality is that if Sen. Oberweis has his way the folks that are out there on the front lines doing the tough jobs will continue to struggle.”

* From the College Democrats of Illinois…

The College Democrats of Illinois is denouncing Oberweis’ plan as being anti-student and anti-young adult. Many students across the state are already struggling to afford their education and rely on minimum wage jobs to help put themselves through school. Many other young adults are already financially independent long before they turn 26. Oberweis is choosing to oppose student interests, while running against U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) who has spent his career as a continuous supporter of students and those trying to earn a living on minimum wage.

“Oberweis’ plan works against students and young adults across the state of Illinois. In a state with over 80 college campuses, it’s appalling that a candidate for U.S. Senate would introduce minimum wage legislation that leaves out young people,” said Brexton Isaacs, President-elect of the College Democrats of Illinois. “Unlike Jim Oberweis, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) has continued to support Illinois students and raising the minimum wage for all residence of Illinois, and we are proud to continue to show him our support.”

* There’s been no react from Illinois Review as of yet. You gotta wonder what they think of their current situation. They have a pro-choice gubernatorial candidate and a US Senate candidate pushing for a minimum wage hike. They did, however, link to this story

Sen. Dick Durbin (D., Ill.), who is leading the Equal Pay Day push by Senate Democrats to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, pays women on his staff far less than he pays men.

Durbin took to the Senate floor on Tuesday to preach on the importance of passing legislation aimed at solving the gender pay gap.

“How serious is equal pay for equal work to working people across America?” said Durbin, “I think it’s critical.”

The average female salary is $11,505 lower than the average male salary in Durbin’s office, according to an analysis of Senate salary data from fiscal year 2013 that showed that more than two-thirds of Democratic Senate offices pay men more than women.

Four of the five highest paid staffers on Durbin’s staff are men, according to the analysis.

* Other stuff…

* Oberweis likely to leave dairy if he wins Senate seat

* Oberweis, Kaifesh To Speak At Tax Day Tea Party Event

- Posted by Rich Miller        


23 Comments
  1. - Southwest Cook - Thursday, Apr 10, 14 @ 10:22 am:

    Wow College Democrats. Economic Illiteracy. This plan is not anti-student or anti-young adult. It is actually anti-workers 26 and up. This law would price many of them out of their jobs, since employers can now get younger workers to do the same work for less money. Oh and they meant to write “all residents” not “all residence”.


  2. - cicero - Thursday, Apr 10, 14 @ 10:28 am:

    I hope Cullerton, Madigan and Quinn will jump on the Oberweis proposal and bring it up for a vote. It guarantees at least one Republican vote.


  3. - Walker - Thursday, Apr 10, 14 @ 10:28 am:

    Wow. The move to the left is dramatic for both Rauner and Obie, since the Primary.

    What does that say about the litmus tests of the Profts, IPI’s and AFP’s of the world?

    What next? Supporting State Government mandates for local ones? And Federal Government mandates for states?

    They’re almost there already.


  4. - Person 8 - Thursday, Apr 10, 14 @ 10:31 am:

    Would have to check, but would this be breaking any federal laws on pay discrimination? I know most of the laws are based on gender and race, but there has to be something out there for age?


  5. - A guy... - Thursday, Apr 10, 14 @ 10:51 am:

    It’s not completely dense. It leaves in place more opportunities for companies to hire teens and entry level employees to offer them some experience in addition to pay that isn’t meant to “raise a family on”. I think I might be more supportive if the age were 21 rather than 26. At the very least, it’s a little bit interesting.


  6. - Wumpus - Thursday, Apr 10, 14 @ 10:52 am:

    I bet those College Dems are all humanities and subjects that end in “studies” majors. What does Oberwies pay people at his business?


  7. - Ghost of John Brown - Thursday, Apr 10, 14 @ 10:54 am:

    He said what? Huh? But you gotta be….ahhhh, uhhh, huh?

    I’m speechless.


  8. - Demoralized - Thursday, Apr 10, 14 @ 10:54 am:

    I don’t understand the 18-26 breakout. If you are going to raise it raise it for everyone. I understand keeping a different wage for those under 18. I would classify that as student wages. Over 18 doesn’t meet that criteria in my mind.


  9. - gopower63 - Thursday, Apr 10, 14 @ 10:55 am:

    So College Democrats think that the best their members will be able to do after graduation is a minimum wage job?

    Can’t say that I disagree with them.


  10. - TooManyJens - Thursday, Apr 10, 14 @ 11:10 am:

    gopower63, I think it’s long past time to stop using “can’t get a well-paying job” as an insult.


  11. - wordslinger - Thursday, Apr 10, 14 @ 11:10 am:

    How can you have a different minimum wage for adults under 26? How does that pass 14th Amendment muster?


  12. - DuPage - Thursday, Apr 10, 14 @ 11:10 am:

    I heard him the first time, when he said he was against any increase in minimum wage.


  13. - PublicServant - Thursday, Apr 10, 14 @ 11:16 am:

    Somebody ought to ask Oberweis how many 26 year olds or above he has working in his Ice Cream business. Whatever his answer, I’ll bet there would not be any if this joke of an idea were to pass into law. Nothing in his proposal would prevent those bastions of industry from replacing older minimum wage workers with younger workers to avoid the age-based minimum wage now would it?


  14. - 3rd Generation Chicago Native - Thursday, Apr 10, 14 @ 11:19 am:

    If you do the same work shouldn’t you get the same pay? Aren’t we talking about age discrimination when the pay changes depending on your age?
    Next he will have a different scale for men verses women?


  15. - Slick Willy - Thursday, Apr 10, 14 @ 11:20 am:

    The attempted slam on the wages of Durbin’s staff is just plain silly. Comparing his entire office based solely on gender is disingenuous. Are all of his staff equally qualified with the same amount of experience? Do they all do the same job? Did they negotiate their salaries? Do they all work the same hours? Did any of the staff take maternity leave? If you are truly interested in determining if there is a wage-gender gap, then you need to control for variables like this.

    This issue has been pounded to death by labor economists and the last time I read up on the matter, there were numerous studies that indicated that roughly four percent of the difference in wages is unaccounted for (that does not mean that it is gender discrimination).

    Not sure there is a politician that I dislike more than Durbin, but such allegations are unfounded.


  16. - 3rd Generation Chicago Native - Thursday, Apr 10, 14 @ 11:23 am:

    I see a lot of lawsuits when all you see is the younger lesser expensive workers being hired over more expensive, older workers. This would take the state back a decade or more as far as fair pay, fair hiring..


  17. - cicero - Thursday, Apr 10, 14 @ 11:23 am:

    == So College Democrats think that the best their members will be able to do after graduation is a minimum wage job? ==

    The College Dems are clearly referring to what students earn while working their way through college.


  18. - the Other Anonymous - Thursday, Apr 10, 14 @ 11:28 am:

    I am a bit wary of the “pay discrimination” claim made by Illinois Review against Durbin. It looks like they just took all salaries and did not consider job title. So they are essentially saying that there is pay discrimination because a female, just out of college receptionist gets paid less than the chief of staff.

    Now it’s certainly an interesting issue why more men hold senior positions on the Hill than women, but it’s not an equal pay issue.

    Moreover, even under this questionable analysis, Durbin’s office pays women 91% of what men earn, a lot better than the 77% wage differential (calculated for the position, BTW) nationwide.


  19. - Oberwho? - Thursday, Apr 10, 14 @ 11:48 am:

    While limiting the raises to 26 and older, he’s just alienated every soda jerk at his ice cream stores. Oh well, they’re not old enough to vote anyway.


  20. - Nick - Thursday, Apr 10, 14 @ 1:59 pm:

    Is Oberweis going to use pitchforks to try to force himself off of the Republican state central committee for violating the party’s position on this issue?


  21. - Living in Machiaville - Thursday, Apr 10, 14 @ 4:23 pm:

    Hey Slick, “Comparing his entire office based solely on gender is disingenuous” The point is that Durbin’s stance is hypocritical cause he’s doing the same thing. So what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.


  22. - cicero - Thursday, Apr 10, 14 @ 6:01 pm:

    Where are the Republicans who were outraged when Obama and Quinn proposed the $10 min. wage?


  23. - Del Wasso - Thursday, Apr 10, 14 @ 8:45 pm:

    Just speculating, what would happen if the millionaire’s proposed incremental wage hike were to be deferred for an indeterminate time… would that also put the kibosh on municipalities from raising theirs? YOU BETCHYA. Still speculating, what happens to city workers (statewide) who already pay more than the state’s minimum wage? No more pay raises until the state catches up?


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