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A few early issues that could tell us how Pritzker will govern for four years

Monday, Feb 4, 2019

* My Crain’s Chicago Business column

What can we expect out of freshman Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s first legislative session? Let’s look at a few issues.

Minimum wage: Pritzker campaigned on raising the state’s minimum wage from $8.25 an hour to $15 an hour over a period of years. But getting to $15 an hour for the entire state on the same time schedule could prove politically difficult. The downstate cost of living is much lower than in Chicago or the suburbs, after all.

Pritzker sincerely wants to honor his campaign promise, but he is under pressure to extend the time period for downstate areas to reach his goal. He’s also promised to lessen the sting on small businesses with tax credits, but the credits currently being discussed may not be adequate.

Pritzker has decided to make this his first big test as governor, so I think we will learn a lot about the future from how he performs now. Does he alienate people he will need down the road by ramming something through, or does he listen to the other side and make some compromises to show he can be reasonable?

Click here to read the rest before commenting, please. Thanks.

* Related…

* Finke: The bill’s pretty much going to have to pass the Senate this coming week if it is going to get to Pritzker on time. The Senate is taking off the following week and then will be in session one more day before Pritzker does the budget address. Supporters may say the bill isn’t being rushed through, but that’s a pretty quick turnaround for lawmakers this early in the session.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

76 Comments »
  1. - Dome Gnome - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 9:24 am:

    I’m pretty sure that I won’t live long enough to see Illinois fully back on track (and I’m about Pritzker’s age). This effort is going have to be sustained over multiple years and despite competing interests and parties. Piece of cake.


  2. - Anonymous - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 9:26 am:

    This seems to be an insurmountable task given the current state of state agencies. Why does this have to go before the budget address? Seems like a good way to fail right out of the gate. What’s next world hunger?


  3. - wordslinger - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 9:43 am:

    –Does he alienate people he will need down the road by ramming something through, or does he listen to the other side and make some compromises to show he can be reasonable?–

    That’s my hope and expectation. When it comes to minimum wage, weed, capital bill and the progressive income tax, Pritzker has an advantage in that polling shows majorities of the public support his basic positions.

    There’s work to be done — great, let the GA and governor get to it. There will be bumps in the road, but that’s supposed to happen in a representative democracy. Take half a loaf if need be now and come back later.

    Beats the heck out of the last four years of paralysis due to a governor just whining and moaning about how it was his way or the highway.


  4. - benevolent employer - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 9:44 am:

    I did a spreadsheet of the effects of $15/hr on my central Illinois business with 18 employees. I fear for their jobs and the community which uses our service.

    If the premium is maintained between employees (higher education/more experience), the business’s payroll will go from $26,000/mo, to $44,000 per month. There is $6.75 between $15/hr and $8.25.

    If all are paid $15/hr the payroll goes from $26,000 to $38,000 each month.

    The money is not there, and the customers will have to pay 50% more for the service to cover the difference. This is a service used by working families. Will they pay? Will we close this business? I refuse to leverage this with more debt. Maybe Pritzker wants to buy my business?

    My family makes averages about $80,000 with three different lines of business, over the last few years. Very boom and bust situations. We can’t afford exchange healthcare, and we have a very small retirement account. The money is not there to cover this increase in the minimum wage.

    I hope these politicians realize what they will be causing. I fear for my great employees and the families that we serve.


  5. - Michelle Flaherty - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 9:53 am:

    - benevolent employer - you do know it doesn’t increase to $15 an hour for a few years.


  6. - wordslinger - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 9:56 am:

    –I did a spreadsheet of the effects of $15/hr on my central Illinois business with 18 employees.–

    There’s not a proposed bill yet, outlining the phase-in or tax credits. Your information is incomplete at this point.


  7. - Anonymous - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 10:01 am:

    Benevolent employer-why don’t you fill in some details about what kind of business it is and why you rely so heavily on low paid labor? Or are you just an IPI concern troll?


  8. - Arsenal - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 10:05 am:

    ==I did a spreadsheet of the effects of $15/hr on my central Illinois business with 18 employees. ==

    Now do one of the effects of your absolute-bare-minimum wages on your employees’ personal finances and well-being.

    Bonus points if you can get into the public services they have to avail themselves of to make ends meet. I’d like to know exactly how much I’m subsidizing your business.


  9. - dr. reason a, goodwin - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 10:08 am:

    How do you explain to a minimum wage worker in Marion that they are worth less than one in Chicago?


  10. - Cubs in '16 - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 10:13 am:

    ===How do you explain to a minimum wage worker in Marion that they are worth less than one in Chicago?===

    Simple. The cost of living in Chicago is much higher than it is in Marion. They can always move if they don’t feel worthy living in Marion.


  11. - City Zen - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 10:14 am:

    ==why you rely so heavily on low paid labor?==

    He said his customer base is working families. Are you asking why working families rely so heavily on low paid labor?


  12. - SRS Guy - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 10:15 am:

    –How do you explain to a minimum wage worker in Marion that they are worth less than one in Chicago?–

    How do you explain to a landlord in Chicago that their apartment is only worth the lower rent amount that they would get in Marion?


  13. - Arsenal - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 10:25 am:

    ==Are you asking why working families rely so heavily on low paid labor?==

    It’s probably because they’re not paid enough.

    Say, I just thought of a solution to that.


  14. - Responsa - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 10:39 am:

    The Crain’s piece is a good article filled with good insights. The minimum wage battle for example will be an excellent gauge of the new Governor’s understanding of how the state beyond Chicago operates and his willingness to look for compromises with downstate legislators (of both parties) where the economics show compromise is warranted.


  15. - jim - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 10:45 am:

    “I hope these politicians realize what they will be causing. I fear for my great employees and the families that we serve.” — benevolent employer

    Hey BE, as you can tell from the responses to your statement, neither the commenters on this site nor the politicians care about your very real problems. they consider you to be the enemy.


  16. - RNUG - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 10:49 am:

    It’s early and the bill isn’t soup yet.

    But I expect a compromise bill where the Chicago and St Louis metro areas ramp up at, sat, $2 a year increases while the rest of the State ramp up at $1 a year until they reach $15/hr plus any inflation adjustments. Or, if they want to be more agressive, $3 and $1.50 increases. That will give everyone time to gradually adjust to the increased costs. It will also allow for fine tweaking of any small business credits. And for the public to adjust to the increased prices.

    And that kind of ramp up isn’t too agressive. If you say invested money doubles every 7 years, the first ramp will take almost 7 years to almost double minimum wage downstate.


  17. - Michelle Flaherty - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 10:51 am:

    jim, to the contrary, I care very deeply about BE’s lack of information as to the details of the minimum wage proposal. If employers think this immediately takes the minimum wage to $15 an hour, someone needs to tell them the truth. Don’t you agree jim?


  18. - Roman - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 10:59 am:

    This week is the big first test for Team JB if they’re looking to rush the minimum wage through the senate.

    There are several complicated side issues: the length of the phase-in, state budget impact, tax breaks for businesses, regional cost of living differences, just to name a few. And we’re likely looking at a scenario where the bill hits the board only 24 hours after the actual language is unveiled.

    I think it will pass — legislators often complain about bills being rushed and then vote yes. But the conditions are right for a set-back if JB’s folks don’t have their ducks in a row.


  19. - benevolent employer - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 10:59 am:

    It does not seem wise to codify a change from $8.25 to $15.00, and get it all done before the benevolent Mr. Pritzker gives his first budget/SOTS address in a few weeks.

    It is an 80% increase in the number cost to businesses, over a predetermined timeframe. Why not temper it, moderate it, to only a 30-40% increase and see how it goes? That would be raising the minimum, paid to the lowest skilled and youngest, to $10.75-$11.55, over years.

    Codification of something that will impact the very core of the Illinois economy, and every small business and the employees, should not be done with emotions and over-shoot the ability of the economy to absorb it.

    Keeping the focusing on getting people more skills, with less debt would have positive effects, too and should also be part of an entire package of lifting those who struggle to have a decent lifestyle.

    Moderation, golden mean, balance, circumspection, please.


  20. - BenFolds5 - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 11:02 am:

    The anger towards not knowing what the future holds for a small business isn’t to be minimized. I have worked in the public sector and the private. I have seen what the struggles are for a business to make payroll. To have anything but the market dictate your pay in the private world is ridiculous. Why does it have to double? Ramp or no ramp? For some reason I remember a war back in the 1700’s being fought against these types of issues. Picking winners and losers should not be the governments job.


  21. - Demoralized - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 11:04 am:

    ==nor the politicians care about your very real problems. they consider you to be the enemy.==

    Oh please. What a crock.

    JB has said that he realizes there will be impacts which is why they are working on mitigating those impacts.

    And the enemy? Please. Anymore ridiculous hyperbole you can come up with? We had 4 years of nothing but whining and victimhood and I guess that trend isn’t going to end anytime soon with these sorts of statements.


  22. - Demoralized - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 11:06 am:

    == To have anything but the market dictate your pay in the private world is ridiculous==

    So then you are against any minimum wage then?

    Great plan. I’m sure that’ll turn out well.


  23. - Demoralized - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 11:07 am:

    ==Picking winners and losers should not be the governments job.==

    And, the government does that all the time. You can’t make any public policy without ending up with winners and losers. Stop being so naive.


  24. - Demoralized - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 11:09 am:

    ==It is an 80% increase in the number cost to businesses,==

    You do not know that. Perhaps you need to wait and see what the final plan looks like before pontificating about what the impact will be. They’ve stated numerous times they are going to attempt to mitigate the impact on small business. Perhaps instead of shouting the sky is falling you should wait and have all of the facts first.


  25. - Arsenal - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 11:17 am:

    ==To have anything but the market dictate your pay in the private world is ridiculous.==

    I’m in the private sector. That happens all the time.

    ==I remember a war back in the 1700’s being fought against these types of issues.==

    You’re misremembering. A gradual phase-in of a minimum wage increase has very little to do with the Colonies’ lack of representation in the British Parliament.


  26. - Earnest - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 11:32 am:

    >or does he listen to the other side and make some compromises to show he can be reasonable?

    Definitely a balance to be struck. Three of the times from your article–pensions, capital bill and governing–are going to require additional money. While to date Pritzker seems to be demonstrating the ability to work with people, I’m more curious to see how he deals with the pressure the lack of financial resources will do to his agenda.

    OT, but a minimum wage increase could be seen as a great opportunity for business owners. Customers may have a little more money to spend. It’s hard to ever do price increases–now you can do so and customers will be mad at the government and not you. Got an employee whose salary crept up over the years but isn’t producing and a lower-paid employee doing great whom you want to retain? –make upward salary adjustments strategically. It’s also a good excuse to cut positions if you have some poor performers.


  27. - BenFolds5 - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 11:33 am:

    Demoralized, I am not against a minimum wage. I am against the government arbitrarily floating a number like $15. Naive is believing that the trying to build up the bottom won’t destroy small business and middle class. I am able to see different states for business. California in our business that depends on warehouse workers is at $15 an hour up from $11 just a year ago. People still have to live in housing in groups of parents and cousins. It’s so expensive it is the norm unlike here. There are many consequences to this that I trust JB understands.


  28. - Arsenal - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 11:35 am:

    ==I am against the government arbitrarily floating a number like $15.==

    It’s not arbitrary. There has been massive political pressure for that amount for years now.


  29. - Timer - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 11:37 am:

    Working backwards from the lead time required for a progressive income tax amendment and from the revenue required to fund the other priorities … ought we to expect some sort of tie-in whereby lawmakers can vote on the tax amendment at the same time as a pension funding bill and a capital bill and a gas tax hike (to allow for all the goodies needed to make the tax hikes palatable)? Seems like there’s just not time or money to take these things sequentially.


  30. - Anonymous - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 11:41 am:

    BE- your response to my query of what kind of business just proved to me that you are nothing more than an IPI concern troll. How about we champion the needs of low wage workers for once. Let me teach you a phrase, velocity of money.


  31. - Demoralized - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 11:42 am:

    ==I am not against a minimum wage.==

    You said you don’t believe the government should set wages. That’s an argument against any minimum wage.

    ==I am against the government arbitrarily floating a number like $15.==

    I don’t know that’s it’s completely arbitrary. I believe they’ve looked at what wages should have risen since they last set it. Which is why the minimum wage should never be static in the fist place. It should be tied to some sort of inflation.

    ==Naive is believing that the trying to build up the bottom won’t destroy small business and middle class. ==

    These are the same arguments we hear every single time the minimum wage is increased. I understand there will be impacts. And so do those making the policy. Which is why I believe they are attempting to mitigate those impacts the best they can.

    As I said, perhaps we should wait and see what the final plan looks like before we engage in “the sky is falling” argument.


  32. - BenFolds5 - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 11:47 am:

    Arsenal it is arbitrary. Just because a number repeated doesn’t mean it’s scientific. So will everyone elses salary in the middle class double over those years as well? Seriously, when the value meal at McDonald’s is $14 how will that be adjusted? It’s so easy to spend other peoples money in government. The reality that there is not much counter this thought here shows we may be too late to change our state. If minimum wage is the fight, we lost already. How about a real pension plan that isn’t just a ponzi scheme?


  33. - JS Mill - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 12:01 pm:

    =It is an 80% increase in the number cost to businesses, over a predetermined timeframe. Why not temper it, moderate it, to only a 30-40% increase and see how it goes?=

    So you are not factoring any increases for your employees? They only get minimum and no raises over time?


  34. - Demoralized - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 12:02 pm:

    ==when the value meal at McDonald’s is $14==

    I thought you were making small business impact arguments. McDonald’s isn’t a small business. Nor would they simply double the cost of what they sell in response to any wage increases.

    Perhaps instead of hysteria and hyperbole you could see how the increase will be handled and then have an intelligent response using facts.


  35. - OneMan - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 12:02 pm:

    So if I am following the arguments correctly…

    Benevolent Employer
    Doesn’t pay his(or her) people enough.
    Shouldn’t be looking at the costs yet, since they don’t have all the details.

    So I am assuming that those of you who feel strongly about the first point, that their employees are underpaid always check things like which gas station in town pays their people the best and goes to that gas station (not the one with the cheapest gas). I also assume you big-hearted folks do this with everything like only wear New Balance shoes, only shop at Union grocery stores (my kid worked at one of those and was in the union, made minimum after paying his union dues), etc. Because unless you are doing everything at the store with the highest labor costs are you not rewarding people being paid low wages? You would never do that, would you?

    As for not looking at the costs yet (or being concerned about them) because they don’t have details.

    Yes, because the legislature never just passes things quickly after making a set of last minute changes. Also, why plan or think about something that could happen, in my business classes they always told us “Unless you are 100% sure it is going to happen, don’t think about it or plan for it”… It seems a little more what if thinking in Springfield could have avoided at least some of the issues we are facing today.


  36. - Anonymous - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 12:14 pm:

    BenFolds5…the current minimum wage is arbitrary.


  37. - Arsenal - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 12:18 pm:

    ==Just because a number repeated doesn’t mean it’s scientific.==

    And just because you don’t consider a number “scientific” doesn’t mean it’s arbitrary. $15 is the number that the political system is strongly suggesting. The state isn’t picking that number out of a hat.

    ==So will everyone elses salary in the middle class double over those years as well?==

    There will likely be upward pressure on several other people’s wages.

    ==The reality that there is not much counter this thought here shows we may be too late to change our state. If minimum wage is the fight, we lost already.==

    LOL, so if we don’t agree with you on this issue, all is already lost?

    ==How about a real pension plan that isn’t just a ponzi scheme?==

    We have one, it’s called “the government pays what it owes”. But I don’t see what slashing some people’s retirements has to do with paying some other people more.


  38. - Arsenal - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 12:23 pm:

    ==So I am assuming that those of you who feel strongly about the first point, that their employees are underpaid always check things like…==

    That I am undoubtedly a flawed vessel for all of my political beliefs does not mean that those beliefs are invalid.


  39. - Arsenal - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 12:27 pm:

    ==So if I am following the arguments correctly…

    Shouldn’t be looking at the costs yet, since they don’t have all the details.==

    Oh, btw, turns out you’re NOT following the arguments correctly. It’s not that BE shouldn’t be looking at his numbers or shouldn’t be trying to plan ahead, it’s that he asserted numbers without knowing what the actual bill is yet.


  40. - wordslinger - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 12:28 pm:

    –To have anything but the market dictate your pay in the private world is ridiculous.–

    That is an argument against any minimum wage.

    It is also an argument against any government role in regulating markets.

    Perhaps a trip back to the 1880s and how the benign hand of the market led to progressive labor laws throughout the industrialized world would be instructive.

    Maybe they’ll cover that in Day 2 of Econ 101.


  41. - ChrisB - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 12:53 pm:

    @Arsenal
    ==So will everyone elses salary in the middle class double over those years as well?==

    There will likely be upward pressure on several other people’s wages.==

    So real wages stay the same and we’re right back at where we started? Neat.


  42. - BenFolds5 - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 12:53 pm:

    If you own a business or help run one in Illinois you pay very close attention to the talk like this. You don’t “Wait for the details.” Does anyone here understand that when you decide to expand you have to take all of these issues into account? If this $15 concept keeps this crazy momentum, realize the exodus will just continue. The more troubling problem than a $15 minimum wage, is the constant threat that it may happen. Nothing is more damaging to a business than the unknown. I was in the public sector during the great recession. Guess what, it wasn’t a very big deal. If you spent your whole career not having to worry about payroll, continue the echo chamber.


  43. - Thomas Paine - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 12:58 pm:

    Policy v. Politics.

    Rather than providing a tax credit to employers to help them cope with the wage hike, we ought to appropriate funds and write them a check. Its much easier to manage and track traditional expenditures than tax expenditures.

    I think it would be folly to exempt downstate counties from the minimum wage hike. Poverty rate data shows that rural Illinois needs this raise the most.

    Plus, opponents are using a rather disingenuous chicken and egg argument:

    1) We do not need to raise minimum wage in downstate Illinois because the cost of living is lower.

    And, also

    2) Raising the minimum wage will raise the cost of living.

    The most sensible solution is to have grants that small businesses can apply for with a finaite appropriation. Require the business to document that the wage hike is actually creating a hardship, and

    Phase in the wage increase by first bringing the rest of the state up to $12 per hour on July 1, 2019 and then $13 per hour on July 1, 2020. Statewide increase to $14, $15 to follow on 7/1/21 and 7/1/22.


  44. - Arsenal - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 1:11 pm:

    ==So real wages stay the same and we’re right back at where we started?==

    Not necessarily. “Upward pressure” doesn’t mean everyone will get a raise proportional the minimum wage increase.


  45. - Arsenal - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 1:14 pm:

    ==You don’t “Wait for the details.”==

    You should. Details are important. You can’t draw good conclusions based on partial information.

    ==If this $15 concept keeps this crazy momentum, realize the exodus will just continue.==

    Or maybe people will start moving here because they can get paid more.

    ==The more troubling problem than a $15 minimum wage, is the constant threat that it may happen.==

    Then let’s just do it and get it over with. Boom, no more unknown.


  46. - Demoralized - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 1:16 pm:

    ==realize the exodus will just continue.==

    Oh please. That’s the standard argument against anything that seems to come up in Illinois. “Oh no, if you do X more people will leave.”

    ==If you spent your whole career not having to worry about payroll, continue the echo chamber.==

    That’s the same ignorant argument I’ve seen made before. If you haven’t owned a business then you shouldn’t be making policy. That’s the argument right? It’s just as ridiculous now as it was then.

    ==this crazy momentum==

    It’s going to happen. It’s not a question of if, but how it will be implemented.

    Your hysterics aren’t going to win any arguments.


  47. - Demoralized - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 1:21 pm:

    ==You can’t draw good conclusions based on partial information.==

    Exactly. But you can draw hysterical ones and yell that the sky is falling.

    Of course you have to think about it. But to sit here and say “this is what it’s going to do to my business” is nonsense. You have no ability to make an intelligent analysis of the impact yet.


  48. - Arsenal - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 1:27 pm:

    ==Of course you have to think about it. But to sit here and say “this is what it’s going to do to my business” is nonsense. You have no ability to make an intelligent analysis of the impact yet.=

    Yes. And while I sympathize with the view that the ILGA has before and will again sneak some last minute changes into a bill and rush a vote on it, I don’t think that means you can just take a stab in the dark about what those changes will be and base your analysis on that.


  49. - wordslinger - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 1:40 pm:

    ==realize the exodus will just continue.==

    People will continue to leave poor black neighborhoods in the Chicago area if the minimum wage goes up? Rather counter-intuitive.


  50. - Honeybear - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 2:11 pm:

    Thanks for mentioning the “hollowing out” of state agencies Rich. Thank you
    I’d like to add that it’s also going to be terribly hard to restaff those positions vacated. We’ve been so maligned that few would even consider public service.


  51. - Odysseus - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 2:42 pm:

    “So real wages stay the same and we’re right back at where we started? Neat.”

    Real is not the word that you want to use here, unless you are making a completely discredited argument. You want a word like “Relative”.

    Real means adjusted for inflation. Inflation is a rise in prices. Prices are not welded to wages. Any rise in prices will almost certainly be a different number than the rise in wages.


  52. - Anonymous - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 2:59 pm:

    dr. reason a, Goodwin

    Last I checked the cost of living in Marion County is dirt cheap compared to Cook County. This will crush small business Downstate. I’m sure Indiana is very excited to get Illinois employers.


  53. - Anonymous - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 3:08 pm:

    Illinois does not operate in a vacuum. This will kill jobs downstate with neighbors like Indiana, Kentucky amd Missouri.


  54. - SSL - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 3:49 pm:

    JB ran on this and he won, so let’s see what happens. Illinois is pretty much an economic experiment at this point anyway. What’s the big deal if the unemployment rate goes up a few percentage points? With many forecasting an economic slowdown in the next 12 to 24 months, this would seem to be the perfect time to put small business owners in peril. Why wait, put them out of the misery now.


  55. - wordslinger - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 4:07 pm:

    –This will kill jobs downstate with neighbors like Indiana, Kentucky amd Missouri.–

    So no more restaurants in Downstate Illinois? People in Marion going to drive to Indiana for a Happy Meal? Because that’s where you’ll find the majority of minimum-wage workers.

    Some of you all pretend that minimum-wage labor costs are the only costs associated with operating some businesses.

    Do costs like utilities, insurance, equipment, ingredients, stay fixed and unchanging for years at a time?

    http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2014/09/08/who-makes-minimum-wage/


  56. - Anonymous - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 4:10 pm:

    Anonymous 2:59…This will crush small business Downstate.”

    People always think of the cost but not the benefits. What happens when every minimum wage earner is suddenly earning 50% more (or higher)? They buy more food, a car, gas, the occasional pizza. They might buy a 6 pack of Bud once in a while rather than whatever is on sale. They can maybe buy a house or fix up the one they own. In short, they buy stuff, increasing receipts at your store. This at least partially offsets the costs.

    Having said that, I must say that $15 minimum downstate does seem like a bit much. In Chicago, it is barely enough.


  57. - wordslinger - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 4:21 pm:

    –Illinois is pretty much an economic experiment at this point anyway. What’s the big deal if the unemployment rate goes up a few percentage points? With many forecasting an economic slowdown in the next 12 to 24 months, this would seem to be the perfect time to put small business owners in peril. Why wait, put them out of the misery now.–

    Since the state is fifth among the 50 in GDP, how would you rate that “experiment” to date?

    The state has also been third — to Texas and Ohio — the last two years in new and expanded business projects. On a per-capita basis, Illinois ranked third in 2017 behind Nebraska and Kentucky.

    Sorry to spoil your whine with facts.

    https://siteselection.com/issues/2018/mar/cover.cfm

    https://www.guidantfinancial.com/blog/top-states-for-small-business-ownership-2018/


  58. - Anonymous - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 4:46 pm:

    That’s what I said, this is way too high for Downstate. It will only help neighboring states with loer minimum wages.


  59. - Demoralized - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 5:29 pm:

    ==It will only help neighboring states with loer minimum wages.==

    Stating it doesn’t make it so.

    These are the same arguments that are made every single time the minimum wage goes up.


  60. - Blue Dog Dem - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 5:33 pm:

    This is a brilliant move by JB. He can raise the minimum wage and it shouldn’t have any negative impact due in large part to a robust Trump economy. That’s what I call bipartisanship.


  61. - SSL - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 5:38 pm:

    How would I rate Illinois to date? Well only 10 states had a worse unemployment rate in December. You want to see that rate increase, by all means mandate a minimum wage of $15/hr as we approach an economic slowdown.


  62. - RNUG - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 6:14 pm:

    == So real wages stay the same and we’re right back at where we started? Neat. ==

    As Anonomous at 4:10pm noted, labor is only component of product cost. And more wages in the lower end of the spectrum often means more spending. It is a known effect that one new dollar generates multiples several times. (I’ll let others argue over the proper multiplier to use.) Most likely, the effect downstate will be huge.

    Plus there are a some side benefits for the State: higher wages means more income tax revenue and higher spending means higher sales tax revenue … so the State can afford some targeted help to small businesses and still come out a revenue winner.


  63. - Blue Dog Dem - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 6:23 pm:

    RNUG. I hope we have an increase in the states min wage. Based on Seattle’s actions, it seems the verdict is still out. I don’t disagree with you rationale, but could those results be based on a federal minimum wage increase.? I know for a fact that there are two significant downstate employers(significant for downstate) that are already exploring the option of moving across the river in anticipation of this event.


  64. - Pundent - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 7:54 pm:

    Really? You know a few “employers” who have the wherewithal to move their businesses and abandon a (presumably) trained and skilled workforce but their business model doesn’t support an increase in the minimum wage rate?

    You sure “know” a lot of remarkable people.


  65. - Blue Dog Dem - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 8:07 pm:

    Pundent. The move could be right across the river. Both companies already have facilities less than five miles away in neighboring states.

    And yes, i do have some connections in the manufacturing arena. Some remarkable. Some not.


  66. - revvedup - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 8:11 pm:

    I understand businesses exist to make a profit. But do businesses ever admit they are paying 2019 employees with 1970’s dollars, and expecting employees to pay other businesses 2019 prices? Real wages haven’t gone up in decades.


  67. - Pundent - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 8:32 pm:

    Manufacturers paying minimum wage in multiple states no less. Sounds like your connections are doing remarkably well.


  68. - Blue Dog Dem - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 8:39 pm:

    Pundent. Mondelez moved Oreo production for a reason. Consumer staples and foodstuffs can be influenced by pennies. I am in favor of a higher min wage. But don’t be foolish in thinking it’s not going to adversely effect certain businesses.


  69. - RNUG - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 8:54 pm:

    Unfortunately, that is an issue in border towns. You can just move across a border and still keep the same (maybe underpaid?) work force. But it works both ways. IF there are better paying jobs just Iver the border, it’s hard to keep them working for lower wages.

    As -blue dog- notes, a minimum wage at the national level negates the effect.


  70. - Pundent - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 9:15 pm:

    I didn’t realize that you lived at the Mexican border and your connections were at Mondolez. Point well taken.

    BTW. Aren’t you the one who keeps admonishing us to “buy union” and how great the Trump economy is doing? Doesn’t exactly square with the pay rates of your “connections.” Maybe time for some new friends?


  71. - Blue Dog Dem - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 9:27 pm:

    Pundent. Who said friends? I sit on a group of small to mid sized manufacturers. Kinda think tank. Trade stories and experiences. Darn straight I promote unions and I support with my pocketbook. And just maybe sometime my Trump praise is snark. But sometimes it’s not. I am not blinded by partisanship.


  72. - wordslinger - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 10:26 pm:

    –Pundent. Mondelez moved Oreo production for a reason. Consumer staples and foodstuffs can be influenced by pennies.–

    That’s your minimum wage argument?

    They moved to Mexico. Mondolez said workers had to take a 60% pay cut to keep production in Chicago.

    But those “pennies” add up. Mondolez only reported a net profit of $2.7 billion in 2017.


  73. - Anon - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 12:27 am:

    Senate will pass an unacceptable version too quickly then Madigan will negotiate the compromise–Senate for show–House for Dough. Passage sometime in late May


  74. - Blue Dog Dem - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 3:11 am:

    Some folks will close their eyes to the real world. As i have said many times. I hope min wage gets increased, but i know their will be consequences. I agree that in some cases profits will drive decisions. I know consumer demand for cheap prices will also drive some decisions. I am not making an argument against min wage. Merely reminding folks that the outcome,although very beneficial too some, is going to hurt some as well.


  75. - Question More - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 4:07 am:

    The so called “job creators” should pay a living wage. Enough, so that workers don’t have to rely on Food Stamps and other Taxpayer funded services to survive. The rich and the corporations they own have to pay their fair share of taxes.


  76. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 1:01 pm:

    At lot of people are assuming that people will still be willing to work for $8.25 several years from now. I doubt it will be that easy to find such people. Entry level jobs have been offering $15 an hour in some parts of Cook County for two or three years now. It’s hard to find a store window that doesn’t have a help wanted sign in it.
    The economy is strong and isn’t slowing down. Yes,stock prices are sinking, but stock prices were in a bubble. The baby boomers are retiring, and there are less people to replace them. I can see the labor market going to $15 anyway, $20 in Chicago in a couple years, without any laws.


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