* 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.
* 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.