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Minimum wage advisory referendum moves to the Senate

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

* Sun-Times

Voters would be asked in November to weigh in on raising the state’s minimum wage to $10 an hour under legislation drafted by House Speaker Michael Madigan and backed Tuesday by the Illinois House.

His measure, which passed the House 71-43 and now moves to the Senate, would place an advisory referendum on the Nov. 4 ballot asking whether to raise the $8.25-an-hour minimum wage to $10 an hour on Jan. 1. […]

Four Republicans supported Madigan’s bill: Rep. John Anthony, R-Plainfield; Rep. John Cabello, R-Machesney Park; Rep. C.D. Davidsmeyer, R-Jacksonville; and Rep. Michael McAuliffe, R-Chicago.

Democrats who bucked Madigan included Rep. Carol Sente, D-Vernon Hills; Rep. Jack Franks, D-Marengo; and Rep. Jerry Costello II, D-Smithton. […]

“I voted for the minimum wage before when it was up a couple of years ago,” said McAuliffe, who represents parts of the northwest side and adjoining suburbs. “There’s a lot of people that are unemployed- young and also a lot of seniors. When they go into the job market, sometimes they’re denied good-paying jobs, and all they have, the only jobs that are available, are the ones at minimum wage. A lot of seniors are still trying to make ends meet and for me I feel it’s a good fit for them.”

* SJ-R

Earlier Tuesday, a group of Republican lawmakers introduced a bill to put an advisory referendum on the fall ballot regarding whether the income tax hike should be made permanent.

Rep. David Harris, R-Arlington Heights, said Illinois is becoming more like California, which is famous for putting issues to voters.
“These kind of issues are for us to decide,” Harris said. “We shouldn’t fob off our responsibility onto an advisory referendum.”

* Lee Newspapers

House Speaker Michael Madigan, who sponsored the proposal, said a higher wage will help pull people out of poverty.

“We think that it helps people in society that do need some help,” the Chicago Democrat said.

“Nobody should be working and living in poverty,” added state Rep. Arthur Turner, D-Chicago.

Republicans said it could stifle economic growth by limiting small businesses from hiring work

Discuss.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


19 Comments
  1. - Chicago Cynic - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 9:52 am:

    Waste of space. I support raising the minimum wage, but this is a waste of space on the ballot.


  2. - PublicServant - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 9:58 am:

    Increasing the minimum wage will put upward wage pressure on those jobs whose wages are close to it, thus providing more income to low-end wage-earners who will spend it, increasing demand and leading to more jobs overall. It will also help move people off welfare. I, for one, am tired of keeping walmart workers fed, clothed, sheltered and healthy so they can work to make money for the Walton family.


  3. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 10:15 am:

    “Earlier Tuesday, a group of Republican lawmakers introduced a bill to put an advisory referendum on the fall ballot regarding whether the income tax hike should be made permanent.”

    In my opinion, the minimum wage increase nonbinding refereundum is more of a “puff piece” and thus can be put on a ballot for future consideration. I support a minimum wage increase, but I don’t believe we have a dire need to pass it right now.

    Keeping the income tax increase seems like a far more important matter and should not be kicked down the road. The new fiscal year is coming soon, and with an estimated $4 billion revenue shortfall, some vulnerable people could soon experience the pain of budget cuts.

    I saw cuts in 2012, when the state terminated the GA program. Those cuts were thankfully eased by Obamacare and the CountyCare program that soon followed. We referred people whose GA assistance was terminated to apply for CountyCare.

    I believe that we have to make an unpopular decision by keeping the revenue at its current level. There is a good chance that in the future, the 5% income tax will still be unpopular. This is the tough choice we face today. We should think seriously today about how the most vulnerable will be harmed if the tax rate expires.


  4. - Walker - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 10:16 am:

    David Harris is right.

    Representative government means something.


  5. - SAP - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 10:19 am:

    It is a non-binding referendum. I kinda like the idea of legislators gathering information before they vote.


  6. - Living in Machiaville - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 11:00 am:

    Walmart and other mega-retailers would be best served raising the minimum wage voluntarially. Sadly, the Mom and Pop shops cannot find enough in the “margins” to pay the inflated wage cost. Also, a “fair” minimum wage in an urban setting is not equal to that in a rural area.


  7. - Demoralized - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 11:03 am:

    ==I kinda like the idea of legislators gathering information before they vote==

    I kinda like legislators doing their job instead of sticking their finger in the air to see which way the wind is blowing. Make a decision and then justify that decision in the next election. They are there to make decisions. Period.


  8. - A guy... - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 11:05 am:

    It’s a stall maneuver at best. Any member could poll his or her own district easily if they’re that confused. This is meant to take your attention away from vital issues. It’s sad. It’ll pass without much trouble among a bunch of other things that matter more and affect people a lot more deeply than an “advisory” referendum.


  9. - Darienite - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 11:19 am:

    Saw where Panera Bread is considering the use of robots to take orders. So go ahead and increase the minimum wage, they reduce overall labor costs.


  10. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 11:32 am:

    Put them both on the ballot or put neither on the ballot.

    Both directly impact paychecks, personal buying power, and a slew of similar issues.


  11. - wordslinger - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 11:36 am:

    They’re just get-out-the-vote measures.

    Dems should have the guts to increase the minimum wage.

    –Saw where Panera Bread is considering the use of robots to take orders–

    I hate Panera bread robots!


  12. - Louis Howe - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 11:40 am:

    @Darienite “robots to take orders”…If Businesses can get away with it, they already do it. The minimum wage isn’t about jobs, although most academic research indicates there is little loss of jobs from an increase, it’s about Fair Labor Standards.
    FDR said it best in his 1938 message to congress: “No business which depends for existence on paying less than living wages to its workers has any right to continue in this country”
    Why should taxpayers subsidize the billionaire Waltons by providing food stamps, Medicaid and other life sustaining government services to their employees so that Wal-Mart can pay minimum wages?


  13. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 11:46 am:

    == Panera Bread is considering the use of robots to take orders ==

    Have you seen the robots they have at the National Restaurant Association show this week? It is mind-boggling. Everything from milkshakes to burritos and grilled hamburgers.


  14. - A guy... - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 11:53 am:

    Off topic, but kind of funny in my mind at least; Will we soon have robot cocktail servers? If so, I’m guessing you could blow into them to see if it’s appropriate to serve you any more. This kinda tickles me. Robot bouncers might be fun too. The Tin Man tosses you. Wow.


  15. - Da Moat - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 12:04 pm:

    It’s coming. There are robot soldiers already; why not robot bouncers. And don’t think that breathalyzer at bars aren’t coming eventually.


  16. - Federalist - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 12:17 pm:

    Those 21 and under would stay at the existing minimum wage.
    All others would be raised to $10.00 per hour.

    Then index it to CPI-U, or at the worst the Chained CPI.

    That is what I would put forward if I were in the legislature. So far no one at the state or national level makes any type of such suggestions. Each side come out with their usual ‘mantra’ and there are no other discussion points.


  17. - Shark Sandwich - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 12:52 pm:

    Robot cars means no more DUIs. No need to blow for the robot bouncer if a robot can drive you home?!

    In ay event, everyone would do well to find themselves skills that can’t be economically replaced by robots. Like robot repairman..


  18. - Ghost - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 2:22 pm:

    == Republicans said it could stifle economic growth by limiting small businesses from hiring work ===

    Republicans say they want people off of welfare and assitance too,

    So republicans want us to pay people below poverty wages, but are angry that we are giving food and medicine to people who cant afford…. who could afford it if we raised the minimium wage.


  19. - Federalist - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 3:12 pm:

    @Ghost,

    You state: “So republicans want us to pay people below poverty wages, but are angry that we are giving food and medicine to people who cant afford…. who could afford it if we raised the minimium wage.”

    That seems to be their logic. Low wages, more immigration, legal and illegal, and the Chamber of Commerce and their Republican allies are quite happy.

    Not good for the nation or Illinois.

    Not defending DEMS either. They have their on laundry list of hypocrisies and ‘inconsistencies.


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