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Minimum wage referendum to appear on ballot

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

* It’s pretty obvious from the press release that the governor fully intends to use this issue as much as he can in the upcoming campaign…

Governor Pat Quinn today released the following statement regarding Illinois Senate passage of House Bill 3814, legislation that would place a question on the Nov. 4, 2014 ballot asking voters if the state’s minimum wage should be raised to $10 per hour by Jan. 1, 2015. The bill previously passed the Illinois House, and now heads to the Governor’s desk:

“This November, Illinois voters will have the opportunity to send a clear signal to lawmakers that we must have an economy that works for everyone.

“Raising the minimum wage will benefit hundreds of thousands of hardworking men and women across our state. Higher wages for employees means they will spend more at local businesses, which in turns boosts economic growth.

“As we work to build a majority to raise the minimum wage in Illinois, this referendum will help us get the job done.

“I thank Senator Kimberly Lightford and House Speaker Michael Madigan for sponsoring this important legislation. I look forward to signing it and letting the people’s voice be heard on this important issue.”

Think it’ll work much?

- Posted by Rich Miller        


29 Comments
  1. - Ahoy! - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 1:40 pm:

    I don’t think it will be a deciding factor for swing voters. If business groups do a good job of campaigning against this, they will show the impact on small businesses, is the Governor going to campaign against small business when the economy will be the biggest issue?


  2. - John Bambenek - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 1:47 pm:

    I propose this ballot question:

    “Would you like a pony?” YES / NO

    Wasn’t this same crowd criticizing Rauner for wanting a referendum on gay marriage just a few months ago?


  3. - Sue - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 1:47 pm:

    Great- when Quinn loses in November he can be assured of earning at least $10.00 come January


  4. - Gathersno - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 1:47 pm:

    If the minimum wage goes into effect without non profit community agencies receiving a corresponding increase in their state rates, it will do most of them in.


  5. - Mighty M. Mouse - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 1:50 pm:

    ===It’s pretty obvious from the press release that the governor fully intends to use this issue as much as he can in the upcoming campaign…===

    It’s pretty obvious from Quinn’s first tv ad (Who is the REAL Bruce Rauner?) as well. The background of the ad is just a single subject — Rauner repeatedly saying how he adamantly opposes raising the minimum wage.


  6. - Sun - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 1:53 pm:

    It seems like this election is going to be more about party loyalty than personalities. mainly because PQ is a dimwit and Brucey looks like a muppet. Something like this only broadens the base for the Ds. In other words, it can’t hurt.


  7. - wordslinger - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 1:57 pm:

    Intuitively, I doubt very much that advisory referenda drive turnout.

    Is there any evidence to the contrary?


  8. - OneMan - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 2:00 pm:

    Well if Chicago passes the $15 an hour minimum wage, not so much.

    Don’t see it hurting, don’t see it helping much.


  9. - Vinron - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 2:04 pm:

    “Raising the minimum wage will benefit hundreds of thousands of hardworking men and women across our state.”

    How many workers in Illinois make minimum wage? Per NPR and the BLS in 2012 85,000 Illinois workers made minimum wage or less. Has it really increased to ‘hundreds of thousands’ since then?


  10. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 2:06 pm:

    This is not an issue normally seen on a ballot. Anyone who cares about this recognize that this is a policy question they have never before had voted upon. So it is an odd thing to do.

    Consequently it probably has about as much pull for voters as asking them to vote for their favorite flavor of ice cream.

    It is a goofy gimmick and obviously so.


  11. - Shark Sandwich - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 2:24 pm:

    “Wasn’t this same crowd criticizing Rauner for wanting a referendum on gay marriage just a few months ago?”

    Rauner was using that as a dodge to avoid committing to a position when asked about it in the primary. This is to bolster turnout. Cynical ploys from the same drawer, but there is a difference.


  12. - Precinct Captain - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 2:29 pm:

    ==This is not an issue normally seen on a ballot. Anyone who cares about this recognize that this is a policy question they have never before had voted upon. So it is an odd thing to do.==

    We never voted on banning or approving gay marriage in Illinois, but your buddy Bruce Rauner wants us to, is that also “an odd thing to do” or have you not gotten anymore talking points on that yet?

    There is no evidence that small hikes in the minimum wage that put hundreds, perhaps thousands, of dollars (depending on size) in the pockets of low income workers have net economic harm.

    http://www.cepr.net/documents/publications/min-wage-2013-02.pdf


  13. - Wensicia - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 2:36 pm:

    ==Think it’ll work much?==

    No, not in the way Quinn is expecting.


  14. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 2:45 pm:

    Meanwhile, yesterday in Michigan…


  15. - Buzzie - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 2:47 pm:

    It will have a small, but positive, impact on the Democratic voter turnout—-but that might be enough for a repeat of the Quinn-
    Brady result. It will not bring out any additional Rauner voters (they will be coming out to vote anyway) and besides, how many people really feel sorry for a McDonald’s franchise owner?


  16. - Adam Smith - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 2:55 pm:

    Every one of Quinn and Madigan’s referenda is intended to drive base turnout, not to sway independents or swing voters.

    The only chance Dems have is to try and get the same kind of turnout they get with Obama on the ballot and that means driving already convinced voters to vote in greater numbers.

    This strategy is borne of the realization that independents are increasingly frustrated with the status quo in Illinois. But this same frustration depresses turnout among independents. Discourage them with more bitter partisanship while shoveling red meat to the base. In this way, the most corrupt, incompetent, venal and dysfunctional political cabal can hold on to power. Ta da!


  17. - Jerome Horwitz - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 3:27 pm:

    @Gathersno - You are correct. The FY 15 budget will undoubtedly contain cuts to community not for profit organizations. Add the minimum wage increase to the cuts = going out of business.


  18. - A guy... - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 3:29 pm:

    ===“This November, Illinois voters will have the opportunity to send a clear signal to lawmakers that we must have an economy that works for everyone.”===

    Maybe not everyone Governor. Small employers, seniors who are using the work force for more socialization, teens who might not have as many opportunities for an entry level job. It will be a job killing regulation in a fair number of cases.


  19. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 3:34 pm:

    Perhaps the combo of voting rights and nonbinding referenda such as the millionaire tax and minimum wage increase can help increase turnout, though I’m not sure how “toothless” nonbinding ballot measures can convince folks to come out.

    I think they’re okay ideas because they’re based on substantive issues. I believe that if the votes were there, these issues would have passed during this session, so it’s not totally gimmicky to put the measures out there. They were before us, but they went nowhere in the legislature, so it’s not like they’re being pulled out of thin air.

    For those who think it’s shallow to do this, please consider Benghazi and a billion Obamacare repeal/defund attempts in the national government. What’s the point of that except so-called throwing red meat to the base, to play to the anger of constituents?

    We can also consider what Rauner’s doing, with fluff ads and policy evasion. That’s playing politics, and it may or may not work, just like the minimum wage referendum.


  20. - Cheryl44 - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 3:40 pm:

    Vinron, a lot of places that pay over the minimum still tie their hourly to that rate. They’ll pay 20% above, or $2 more an hour.

    ~“Would you like a pony?” YES / NO~

    Pony owning is not as much fun as you’d think.


  21. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 3:44 pm:

    As Quinn and Madigan are busy putting this issue on the ballot to drive turnout for their personal benefit, other legislatures are busy acting on the issue. From the NCSL

    == Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, West Virginia and D.C. have enacted increases so far in 2014.
    As of May 28, the legislature in Vermont passed an increase but the bill is awaiting action by the Vermont governor. ==


  22. - Anonymous - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 4:45 pm:

    ==Vinron, a lot of places that pay over the minimum still tie their hourly to that rate. They’ll pay 20% above, or $2 more an hour.==

    That will change quickly if minimum wage is raised by 20+%. Then there will be a lot more people making minimum wage, or a lot fewer jobs


  23. - votecounter - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 5:02 pm:

    Alot of union contracts are based on being so much over the minimum wage a raise in the minimum wage equals a automatic raise for their rank and file.


  24. - Precinct Captain - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 6:52 pm:

    ==Maybe not everyone Governor. Small employers, seniors who are using the work force for more socialization, teens who might not have as many opportunities for an entry level job. It will be a job killing regulation in a fair number of cases.==

    False and fact free. This isn’t Candyland.


  25. - Just The Way It Is One - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 7:55 pm:

    Yes, I expect the issue and his avid push in favor of it will help him quite a bit, and, just a hunch, but I imagine the Referendum should garner somewhere around 70% Approval by the Voters, with many of those same Supporters of the Measure (though not ALL by any means) backing Pat Quinn on the same Ballot in the Election.

    The key for the Governor is for him to continue, and everywhere throughout the State, in speeches, etc., strongly attach his name and face to passionate support FOR the Minimum Wage Increase (as opposed to BR), (and maybe even throw in a couple of pictures of the ever-popular in Illinois, POTUS shaking hands with the Governor, noting how he LIKEwise is publicly pushing for an increase)…!


  26. - FormerParatrooper - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 7:57 pm:

    Had I had leaders like PQ and the legislature, I would have never been able to accomplish my mission as a leader of junior soldiers. Enough of the partisan games on issues. A referendum on raising the minimum wage is saying it is not a serious issue nor important enough to actually vote on now.

    I am glad those in the legislature and our Gov. have shown they are worth the salaries they collect. /s


  27. - wordslinger - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 10:56 pm:

    –Had I had leaders like PQ and the legislature, I would have never been able to accomplish my mission as a leader of junior soldiers. –

    For crying out loud, get over yourself.

    You pull out the big guns over an advisory referendum? Don’t debase your service with such nonsense.

    Election-year politics is not uncommon on Planet Earth.


  28. - wordslinger - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 11:09 pm:

    – seniors who are using the work force for more socialization–

    Can’t say I ever viewed the minimum wage issue in that light.

    But no worries, it’s just a silly, cynical advisory referendum.

    In the real world, the courageous House super-majority is advancing a budget that will cut off home services to tens of thousands of seniors. Here’s to you, greatest generation.

    So pull up your garter belts, granny, charge up the Rascal, and get out there and mingle!


  29. - U of I Democrat - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 11:19 pm:

    As someone who sees the great benefits of a minimum wage increase, both for myself and the rest of the economy, it’s troubling to see blatant politics being played with the increase. Should the referendum fail (not impossible) and Rauner win, we could be stuck waiting on a federal increase. I’m a supporter of Quinn but this one hurts.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Good morning!
* Final thoughts before calling it a night
* *** UPDATED x3 - Script *** Quinn airs radio ad of Rauner joking about being "scared" of four African-Americans
* Karen Lewis endorses Chuy Garcia for mayor
* Friday night TV ad rating
* Yesterday's blog posts

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