* The minimum wage publicity push is just beginning, so get used to it. Expect to hear lots more about it as the weeks click by. Raising the minimum polls sky high and, of course, there’s that non-binding referendum this November which is designed to bolster turnout.
The general rule of thumb I use is that when my commenters start getting sick of discussing an issue, then it’s just barely starting to penetrate into the rest of the state. So, yeah, you’re sick of hearing that Rauner is rich. Well, most people don’t really know that yet. So, they have to keep pounding and pounding until the message finally burns in. Same with the Democrats’ support for the minimum wage. Like I said above, get used to it.
From a press release…
Governor Pat Quinn today will visit with local residents in communities across Illinois to talk about the importance of raising the minimum wage. The Governor will visit local cafes and fast food restaurants in Kankakee, Champaign, Decatur, Peoria, Galesburg and Rock Falls, to visit with workers and talk about their experiences.
The Governor is taking the minimum wage challenge this week, living off $79, the average amount someone working full time on the minimum wage in Illinois earns per week after housing costs, transportation and taxes. This budget will cover Governor Quinn’s food and living expenses from Sunday, Aug. 31 through Saturday, Sept. 6.
“Those who think that this challenge is a gimmick should spend one day in a minimum wage workers’ shoes,” Governor Quinn said. “Over the past few days I’ve only experienced a small taste of what it’s like to live on minimum wage. Our workers are making painful choices every day. I couldn’t even buy my niece a birthday card - can you imagine what it’s like for a family getting by on minimum wage come Christmas time?”
Raising the minimum wage in Illinois is part of the Governor’s commitment to drive economic growth, alleviate poverty and ensure all workers are treated fairly. Governor Quinn has a plan to raise the minimum wage in Illinois to at least $10 an hour. By increasing the Illinois minimum wage to $10 an hour, a half-million Illinois consumers will make an extra $4,800 a year and much of that extra income will be spent at local businesses on food, clothing and furniture, providing a strong boost to the local economy.
Nearly two-thirds of small-business owners support raising the federal minimum wage because they believe it will help the economy and, in turn, enable them to hire more workers, according to a poll conducted by the Small Business Majority. Leaders from large companies such as Costco, Starbucks and Stride Rite also have supported increasing the minimum wage as a way to reduce employee turnover and improve workers’ productivity.
* From the mayor’s office…
Mayor Rahm Emanuel today signed an Executive Order requiring City contractors and subcontractors to pay employees a minimum wage of $13 per hour for contracts advertised after October 1, 2014. The hourly wage will be indexed to inflation and increase proportionally on a yearly basis thereafter.
“A higher minimum wage is essential to putting a financial floor beneath our hard-working families,” Mayor Emanuel said. “With this Executive action, we’ll help ensure that nobody who is contracted to do work with the City of Chicago will ever have to raise their children in poverty.”
The Executive Order is the first step taken by the City to ensure that all employees contracted with the City of Chicago are provided with sufficient wages for a shot at the middle class. It applies to all service contracts, including construction contracts, advertised after October 1, 2014.
“We made the decision long ago to pay our employees a decent wage that enables them to support their families,” said Deborah Sawyer, President and CEO, Environmental Design International. “Raising the minimum wage is not only good for my employees, but helps reduce worker turnover and improves workplace morale – which helps my bottom line as a small business owner.”
Approximately 1,000 contracted employees will benefit from this Executive Order. These workers are typically employed as landscapers, maintenance workers, security officers, concessionaires, and in custodial services.