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Hard push begins this week for $15 an hour minimum wage

Tuesday, Feb 5, 2019

* Subscribers know more details. Here’s the Tribune’s take on the minimum wage push

Now, with Democrats in control of the governor’s mansion and both the Illinois House and Senate, they are charging ahead on an issue that’s popular with many of their supporters. But Pritzker could risk alienating business interests and Republican lawmakers in his first big legislative effort, shortly after sounding bipartisan tones when he was sworn in last month.

State Sen. Kimberly Lightford, a Maywood Democrat who has tried to raise the minimum wage before, said she hopes to introduce her new proposal as early as Tuesday. That timetable could give Pritzker a chance to sign a minimum wage increase into law before delivering his first budget proposal to lawmakers on Feb. 20, she said. […]

Her goal is to get the state’s minimum wage to $15, more than double the federal minimum wage of $7.25 and equal to the level it will reach in California in 2022 and in Massachusetts the following year. As of Monday, specifics were still being worked out, and debate among lawmakers could further change any proposal. Up for discussion is how many years it should take to boost the wage to $15, whether employers should continue being allowed to pay some teenage workers less and how to structure tax credits to help small businesses offset rising payroll costs. […]

Other business groups are asking for bigger changes. Retail leaders want Illinois to take into account the fact that it costs more to live in the Chicago area than it does Downstate. For example, the rate could be $15 in Chicago and Cook County, $13 in the collar counties and $11 in the rest of the state, Illinois Retail Merchants Association President and CEO Rob Karr said. […]

“There is a difference between being heard and being listened to,” Karr said.

* Crain’s

Groups representing retailers, manufacturers, gas stations and others have accepted that there will be an increase from the current minimum of $8.25, said Mark Grant, state director of the National Federation of Independent Business. They’re now lobbying to prolong the phase-in and limit the $15 amount to Chicago and perhaps the collar counties, arguing that the cost of living is lower downstate.

New York and Oregon have higher minimum wages for employers in major cities. In California and Massachusetts, the $15 minimum wage applies across the state, as it will in New Jersey, which last week passed legislation guaranteeing a $15 minimum wage.

SEIU Healthcare Political Director Erica Bland-Durosinmi wants the $15 amount to take effect across the state, and quickly, saying it will help workers from Chicago to Danville pay for rent and groceries.

“This fight is a fight we have been fighting for years,” she said. “We want money in folks’ pockets as soon as possible.”

* Related…

* How has minimum wage hike worked out elsewhere?: Andrew Farnitano helped lead the campaign to raise Massachusetts’ minimum wage — twice. The first time was in 2014, when his organization, RaiseUp Massachusetts, found success in legislation that increased the wage from $8 to $11 within three years. Immediately after, Farnitano’s organization began campaigning for an increase to $15 an hour, succeeding in June 2018. Farnitano says what happened after the first round of raises was the opposite of what many people and groups, especially business associations, expected. “As the minimum wage went up, we saw massive job growth, a stronger economy, and the biggest drops in unemployment in the communities where the most people, some 30 or 40 percent of workers, benefited from the increase,” Farnitano said.

* Q-C Chamber opposes minimum wage hike in Illinois: According to Rumler, the negative impact would be exacerbated in regions like the Quad Cities that share state borders where businesses could easily move a few miles and not be subject to Illinois’ proposed $15 minimum wage.

* New Jersey becomes 4th state to approve $15 hourly wage

- Posted by Rich Miller        

142 Comments »
  1. - Arsenal - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 9:43 am:

    The problem with geographic bifurcation is you don’t want employers doing any funny business along Lake Cook Road.

    Besides that, though, I’m perfectly fine with a long phase in, and can even accept a carve out for high schoolers.


  2. - Brendan - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 9:48 am:

    There is a reason we voted in the democrats. I don’t care if republicans are alienated. They have bad policy. Push through the bill!


  3. - Steve - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 9:52 am:

    A state minimum wage is a state minimum wage. The Illinois state constitution demands that there is equal protection under the law. The law has to apply everywhere in the state: Chicago to Cairo. The parts of Illinois that close to states with much lower minimum wages will really be hurt because they will not be able to compete cost wise.


  4. - Honeybear - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 9:56 am:

    I’m for working people.
    Companies moving across the border
    Is such a bluff
    If you can’t pay higher wages
    Where are you going to come up with the money to move?
    And if your business does have the money
    Why are you being a capitalist parasite
    Sucking life out of the working class?
    I have no sympathies for the
    Owner/investor class
    And if you don’t want to stand by your community
    If have no local loyalty, state loyalty
    I say get out.


  5. - OneMan - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 9:56 am:

    Steve, there is a ton of stuff in state law (taxation of aviation fuel for example) that is different for towns and cities of a given size (Chicago).

    Don’t see how a different minimum by county by population is going to be a constitutional issue (then again I am not a lawyer)


  6. - the Edge - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 9:58 am:

    Steve, almost every other law written refers to Cities greater than 1 million or cities less than one million. Having a lesser minimum wage south of I80 should be considered.


  7. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 10:02 am:

    Let’s see some stats from Mr. Farnitino. What exactly is massive job growth, a strong economy, blah, blah.

    Usually these people really pushing the $15 wage have never made a payroll.


  8. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 10:05 am:

    Yeah, I’m liberal in a lot of areas but a $15 minimum wage outside of the Chicago region doesn’t make sense to me.


  9. - PublicServant - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 10:05 am:

    Statewide minimum wage of $15 in today’s dollars indexed to inflation. Phase in period is negotiable. Keep it simple. If an existing minimum wage business can’t make a profit without their employees supported with food stamps, they don’t deserve to be in business. Make room for those businesses that are more efficient/less greedy.


  10. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 10:08 am:

    ==Usually these people really pushing the $15 wage have never made a payroll.==

    What difference does that make? You are telling me that only those people should have a say in this policy? Nonsense.


  11. - hisgirlfriday - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 10:09 am:

    A carve out for teens is B.S. A 16-year-old worker’s labor has just as much human dignity as a 20-year-old.

    There is no reason an employer should be able to exploit a worker’s age to pay them less for the same work. That a teenager might be using their wages for something different than a 20-year-old would do does not justify the state setting a different wage floor for their labor. A 25-year-old with two kids does not get an automatic wage hike over a person with no kids who can spend more of their earnings on frivolous expenses.

    I was working minimum wage jobs before i could even drive and my after school and summer jobs were crucial to my being able to afford college. For other families, those minimum wage earnings are crucial to even basic necessities like food, shelter, and transportation. And in these jobs I was a very hard worker even as a teen. in fact, in many minimum wage settings I found myself working harder than the 20-30 something people. my labor was not worth any less due to my age.

    Say no to teenage labor exploitation.


  12. - hisgirlfriday - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 10:12 am:

    And another thing business lobby fighting $15 minimum wage… maybe you shouldn’t have fought the $10 minimum wage so hard and there wouldn’t be so much pressure to raise it now.


  13. - Sue - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 10:14 am:

    Public Servant- a voice from another leftist. Illinois needs more jobs not less. You are simply uneducated when it comes to generating jobs. The problem with a starting wage of 15 is it materially increases the wage costs for all other employees who today are at or near 15. I assume you never ran anything more then a lemonade stand


  14. - Get a Job!! - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 10:14 am:

    “There is a difference between being heard and being listened to”

    So much for the “agreed bill” process making a comeback, eh?


  15. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 10:15 am:

    == a voice from another leftist==

    You make any comment you make garbage when you say things like that. It only identifies you as a hyperpartisan hack.


  16. - Pundent - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 10:16 am:

    =Let’s see some stats from Mr. Farnitino.=

    Try this on:

    Illinois unemployment rate = 4.4%
    U.S. unemployment rate = 3.7%
    Massachusetts unemployment rate = 3.3%

    Sounds like they’re doing ok in making payroll.


  17. - A guy - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 10:18 am:

    $15/hr. may be too high in a lot of rural parts of the state, especially in border towns. In Chicago and the surrounding suburbs, businesses are already forced to pay a higher wage. Massachusetts is already a higher cost of living that Chicago. Committing 8 years into the future (phase-in) is always slippery for me.
    Legislatures here and everywhere else should be dealing with this issue every year within the real time economic conditions of the time. A tough vote annually isn’t too much to ask from legislators representing their districts. The idea of biting the bullet once for 8-10 years in the future isn’t the right approach on this one. What seems like a plausible idea now might be unrealistically low in several years, or be enough to sink some businesses depending on the times. Deal with it annually.


  18. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 10:19 am:

    ==they don’t deserve to be in business.==

    I don’t think we should be saying things like that. We shouldn’t be rooting for businesses to go out of business.


  19. - Pundent - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 10:22 am:

    =Illinois needs more jobs not less. You are simply uneducated when it comes to generating jobs.=

    You do realize that one of the benefits of a higher wage is more disposable/discretionary income which has the effect of “generating jobs.” I would also think that fewer people living in poverty an dependent on other taxpayers would also mean something to someone as educated as yourself.


  20. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 10:22 am:

    Demo & Public Service, ever made a payroll? Yes or no.


  21. - Arsenal - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 10:26 am:

    ==Illinois needs more jobs not less.==

    There’s GOT to be a better way to create jobs than paying people poverty-level wages.

    Maybe we can pair this with an infrastructure bill and opening up a new industry. Wasn’t there a guy who was talking about that last October? Liked puppies, wore a vest? What happened to him?


  22. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 10:28 am:

    ==ever made a payroll? Yes or no.==

    No. What difference does it make? You are making an argument that only those that have, have a right to an opinion on this. That’s utter nonsense.


  23. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 10:29 am:

    Downstate will be absolutely devastated by this. Indiana and Kentucky are salivating at the job prospects.


  24. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 10:29 am:

    –Usually these people really pushing the $15 wage have never made a payroll.–

    And those who do at $8.25 an hour feed at the taxpayer trough, subsidized in the forms of SNAP, Medicaid, Section 8 vouchers and much more.


  25. - Arsenal - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 10:29 am:

    ==ever made a payroll? Yes or no.==

    Pretty sure it’s OK for employees, not just bosses, to have a say in policy, too.

    But really, it’s all irrelevant. If you want to know about their personal lives, find them on Facebook. The logic of the policy will sink or swim on its own.


  26. - LXB - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 10:30 am:

    How many businesses are there with a) a significant number of sub-$15 employees, and b) a location and product/service they can “easily” move across a state border?


  27. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 10:30 am:

    Pundent—Nov 2014 Mass unemployment 5.3%, Illinois 6.2%
    Nov 2016 Mass 3.8%, IL 5.5%

    Illinois has about 12.8 million people, Mass about 6.8 million.


  28. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 10:30 am:

    Both Indiana and Kentucky have a $7.25 minimum wage.


  29. - Arsenal - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 10:31 am:

    ==Indiana and Kentucky are salivating at the job prospects.==

    Bruce Rauner tried that “race to the bottom” thing. Thank you, next.


  30. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 10:32 am:

    Illinois is already losing in the competition with it’s neighbors this will make it even worse.


  31. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 10:32 am:

    ==Both Indiana and Kentucky have a $7.25 minimum wage.==

    And that’s a good thing? Yes, lets strive to pay people less.


  32. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 10:33 am:

    Anonymous:

    Why don’t you take a half a second and come up with a name to use.


  33. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 10:33 am:

    Arsenal, I searched Demoralized and Public Servant on Facebook.

    Surprisingly, no results


  34. - Arsenal - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 10:34 am:

    ==And that’s a good thing? Yes, lets strive to pay people less.==

    Everyone whines about the state’s population loss, but when we do something to make ourselves more attractive to actual people, not corporations…


  35. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 10:34 am:

    Wisconsin and Iowa minimum wage is $7.25


  36. - Brendan - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 10:34 am:

    Arsenal
    ==There’s GOT to be a better way to create jobs than paying people poverty-level wages.==

    There is, this entire argument is ridiculous at this point. Give the small businesses and incentive and move on. Pass the 15. Republicans really have brainwashed people into thinking that being paid a poverty wage is better for the economy.


  37. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 10:35 am:

    ==I searched Demoralized and Public Servant on Facebook.==

    Then you have issues. And I have no idea what the point of that even is. Go away.


  38. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 10:35 am:

    Lol, people don’t move to a place with no jobs.


  39. - Perrid - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 10:36 am:

    I think 15 should be the statewide minimum, period. $30k a year is not a lavish wage anywhere. It’s comfortable for a single person living in a small or medium sized town, but not lavish. If anything, Chicago folks probably deserve more. If any business is complaining about it, show us your books first, and then tell us how many (if any) of your employees are on SNAP or Medicaid. If businesses want me to believe they really have such high fixed costs and that they can’t possibly take any kind of a haircut, they can’t afford to pay a living wage, show me your numbers. Otherwise I have no reason to believe you aren’t exploiting your workers to boost your own pocketbook. I do have reason to believe that someone making $17k a year is struggling.


  40. - njt - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 10:37 am:

    ===Wisconsin===

    Ah yes, the state paying $30,000 per job for a factory that doesn’t exist.

    Seattle labor market seems to be doing fine, even after the authors flipped on the original study:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/22/business/economy/seattle-minimum-wage-study.html


  41. - Cornfed - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 10:37 am:

    —s more disposable/discretionary income which has the effect of “generating jobs—

    That will be irrelevant when there are fewer jobs. Higher labor costs, generated by law and not the market, will result in fewer people working.


  42. - BenFolds5 - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 10:38 am:

    Honey bear… You say get out. Trust me businesses and people have. A simple Google search will show you the states with the most exodus. Shockingly, we are towards the top. /s


  43. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 10:38 am:

    Yeah, great idea. All our neighbors have minimum wages at 50% of ours. Lots of employers are gonna stick around for that and some of the highest property taxes in the country.


  44. - Arsenal - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 10:38 am:

    ==Arsenal, I searched Demoralized and Public Servant on Facebook.

    Surprisingly, no results==

    Try LinkedIn and Insta next. The important thing is you’re trying. DON’T GIVE UP.


  45. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 10:39 am:

    Lol, Seattle and downstate Illinois’ have virtually nothing in common.


  46. - Arsenal - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 10:40 am:

    ==Shockingly, we are towards the top. ==

    And thus, we are forced to draw the conclusion that keeping our minimum wage as low as it is ISN’T preventing population loss or spurring job creation.


  47. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 10:43 am:

    The state doesn’t need to have double the minimum wage of it’s neighbors, how about something like $10?


  48. - PublicServant - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 10:43 am:

    Yes. I have my own consulting firm, pal. Make a good living at too. Thanks for asking. And Sue, the race to the bottom is over in Illinois. Get used to it. Gotta run. cya.


  49. - Perrid - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 10:44 am:

    Cornfed, the market doesn’t care about people. If someone will work for room and board, and basically live in squalor, they should do so according to the market. So if someone is too scared to leave their job because they don’t think (rightly or wrongly) that they can do better, if they are willing to do a job just to not to starve, then they should do that, according to your market. I aspire to treat people better than that, to be better than that, and have little problem with dragging you along with me into the light.


  50. - BenFolds5 - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 10:44 am:

    The correlation to $15 an hour and the economy actually healthy is the what is real reason. If the appetite is there so be it. But, don’t make false arguments. Recession anyone? Also, how about Workers Comp reform in Illinois. Tie that. Make some real concessions.


  51. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 10:45 am:

    ===how about something like $10? ===

    Pritzker ran for governor promising $15. He won.


  52. - Arsenal - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 10:48 am:

    ==Also, how about Workers Comp reform in Illinois.==

    We gave you that in 2011.


  53. - Publius - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 10:49 am:

    Rich, Maybe if we stop looking at this as a “political win” and look at it as what needs to be done for Illinois’s economy then maybe we can see why it needs to be done and done now


  54. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 10:51 am:

    ==It only identifies you as a hyperpartisan hack.==

    Here, here. And PublicServant makes an excellent point. Sue will refuse to answer this, as will all hyperpartisan hacks, but the question remains:

    What justifies our tax dollars being spent to subsidize the food stamps and Medicaid costs for thousands of employees at large (and very profitable) corporations like Walmart, Target, Dollar Tree, etc?


  55. - Cornfed - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 10:52 am:

    Unfortunately for you perrid, the market is reality. Free puppies and unicorns for everyone doesn’t work and has never worked.


  56. - Montrose - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 10:53 am:

    I am so tired of folks latching on to the population loss and grafting whatever their policy position is on to it. Its because of taxes! Its because of the pensions! Its because we are going to raise the minimum wage! Nothing like an answer in search of a question.


  57. - Lucky Pierre - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 10:56 am:

    Pritzker ran for governor promising $15. He won.

    Rauner also won promising reform of Illinois business environment and government.

    Democrats did not move one inch towards reforming either.


  58. - Arsenal - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 10:56 am:

    ==Free puppies and unicorns for everyone==

    It’s hilarious that you think $31,200/year wages is a Utopian vision.


  59. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 10:57 am:

    ==Demo & Public Service, ever made a payroll? Yes or no.==

    Is this argument more dumb, less dumb, or the same level of dumb as when football players say fans can’t comment on a game because they’ve never played in the NFL?


  60. - Dog Lover - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 10:58 am:

    I agree that taxpayers subsidize low paying corporations. I agree with raising the minimum wage in IL. I anticipate employers will raise prices so I wonder how much ground minimum wage workers will gain. No snark here. I just don’t think it’s that simple to lift people out of poverty. One of multiple steps.


  61. - Arsenal - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 10:58 am:

    ==Rauner also won promising reform of Illinois business environment and government.==

    And he probably woulda been able to pass those policies, but he focused on “Prove that I’m TUFFER than Madigan and AFSCME” ones.

    I know it won’t matter because you’re not here to talk about facts, but after Rauner’s first SOTS, Madigan was speaking positively about a causation standard for workers’ comp claims.


  62. - muon - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 11:03 am:

    The subscriber-only spreadsheets suggest that the scheduled raises to $11/hour by 1/1/2021 have a budgetary impact that can probably be handled and don’t change the impact of social services substantially. There are more significant budget impacts going past 2021 as well as determining what should be done to preserve social services as wages rise.

    Pritzker campaigned on a $15/hour minimum wage, but also on a change to a graduated income tax. If that is on the ballot in 2020 then a new income tax structure could be used to generate the revenue needed to cover the impacts of wages moving above $11/hour.

    It would seem that the fiscally prudent approach, given the campaign pledges, is to pass a bill that enacts the schedule of minimum wage increases up to $11/hour by 1/1/2021. At that point we will know if a constitutional amendment to change the income tax has passed and can be used to mitigate the further costs of additional increases to the minimum wage. Pritzker will still be in his first term and in a position to complete his campaign pledges in 2021 on the minimum wage with the knowledge of how to maintain a balanced budget based on the success of a constitutional amendment.


  63. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 11:04 am:

    LP

    Are you ever going to stop whining and playing the victim?


  64. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 11:06 am:

    –Illinois is already losing in the competition with it’s neighbors this will make it even worse.–

    What do you base that on, professor?

    Illinois’ GDP is two to three times larger than any of its neighbors. Millions more people are employed in Illinois than any of its neighbors.


  65. - City Zen - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 11:08 am:

    ==Illinois unemployment rate = 4.4%
    U.S. unemployment rate = 3.7%
    Massachusetts unemployment rate = 3.3%==

    January 2014, when the first minimum wage increase in MA:

    Illinois unemployment rate = 8.3%
    U.S. unemployment rate = 6.6%
    Massachusetts unemployment rate = 6.2%

    In those 5 years, IL and MA unemployment tracked evenly.


  66. - Perrid - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 11:08 am:

    The market is a reality, sure, but in large part because of human nature. If we (people) can get away with something, we will. It’s time to stop letting corporations, and yes even small businesses, get away with this. Just because greed is a part of the institution does not mean that it has to be part of the institution.


  67. - Big Jer - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 11:12 am:

    Like a lot of current issues such as Medicare for All, etc. the “”Fight for $15″ while a good rallying cry for working class issues misses nuance and context. People react to the slogan and not the problems. Slogans polarize. Problems we can fix.

    As I understand them the issues underlying the $15 minimum wage are cost of living, poverty, inequality, basic needs, etc.

    That is a multi factor problem of which a “higher minimum wage” is one part.

    In 1979 the average rent in Chicago was $279/month. In 2015 the average rent is roughly $1100/month. So do we keep raising the minimum wage to chase obscene housing costs, food costs, and healthcare costs,etc?

    For small businesses that truly cannot afford $15 minimum wage will the Feds take some of the massive military budget and subsidize small businesses? Then we are getting into issues that automation will force us to deal with: universal basic income, jobs guarantee, etc.

    As others have pointed out the idea of $15 minimum wage will stress many small businesses. We do need a much higher minimum wage than $8.25 or whatever it is but like everything else it depends on context.

    https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/apr/13/how-much-is-an-hour-worth-the-war-over-the-minimum-wage

    https://boingboing.net/2018/10/28/fight-for-15.html

    file:///AustinFrerick/status/1090586715541131264

    https://www.thebalancecareers.com/2018-19-federal-state-minimum-wage-rates-2061043

    The last link mentions that the federal minimum wage of $7.25 has not changed since 2009. That is pathetic.


  68. - Wumpus - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 11:16 am:

    Just increase everyone’s wages by the increase in minimum wage.


  69. - A 400lb. Guy on a bed - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 11:16 am:

    =LP Are you ever going to stop whining and playing the victim?=

    That’s all he’s got.


  70. - JS Mill - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 11:19 am:

    =Unfortunately for you perrid, the market is reality. Free puppies and unicorns for everyone doesn’t work and has never worked.=

    Are you talking about a “Free Market Economy”? If so, then you are wrong. There is no such thing only an illusion, there is so much public money in the economy in the form of subsidies and other give a ways that there is no free market. Simply look back to 2008-2009 when the big banks and wall street went panhandling for a handout. Fox Conn, TIF’s et al. There is no such thing anymore.

    The whole “competitive with with other states” false flag as well. Most simply see it as a financial issue and we should lower wages. That is the mantra of business and, especially most of the 1%. Never any talk of lowering CEO wages, just working class and public employees. How much impact would it have to limit executive pay to a max of 10x that of entry level employees?

    Seems fair.


  71. - Louis G. Atsaves - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 11:22 am:

    I don’t know what all the grousing is about. Pritzker won. He has more of a cooperative legislature than Rauner.

    A lot of my Republican and Independent friends have started grousing. They voted for this.

    Our Comptroller will document all that new red ink in her monthly transparency reports.

    And Illinois will become Shangri La.

    I get it. I disagree. So what.


  72. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 11:23 am:

    JS, so you think that all our neighoring states having a minimum wage half of ours will not affect our job market? That is a big difference.


  73. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 11:24 am:

    Are you implying the government should regulate CEO pay?


  74. - Techie - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 11:32 am:

    Let’s talk about what $15 an hour means. Someone working full-time works 2080 hours per year (52 weeks per year * 40 hours per week). That’s a yearly income of $31,200. Even in southern Illinois or in rural counties, you’re going to have a tough time affording food, housing, healthcare, transportation, electricity, water, gas, Internet, phone service, clothing, etc. all with that much money.

    $15 really is a minimum, and it would be easy to make the case for raising it more. After all, the economy is powered by demand. And we can increase demand by making sure that working people have more money to spend.


  75. - Rufus - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 11:42 am:

    Illinois businesses are going to Iowa? LOL. Besides, Iowa has a movement to go to $15/hour as well. Chamber of Commerce all over are just plan greedy. They have no conscience of quality of life.


  76. - Cheryl - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 11:43 am:

    We shouldn’t be rooting for businesses to go out of business.

    If they can’t/won’t pay their employees enough to live on, they should be allowed to fail.


  77. - Rufus - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 11:48 am:

    $30,000 - taxes = ~ $24,000 a year. Can any one of. You live on 24K a year? I did once, in 1984, and had a -$200 balance at the end of each month.


  78. - CapnCrunch - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 11:50 am:

    “A carve out for teens is B.S. A 16-year-old worker’s labor has just as much human dignity as a 20-year-old. There is no reason an employer should be able to….pay them less for the same work…….”

    Doesn’t the exception for teenagers have less to do with human dignity and more with job experience? Forced to pay $15.00 per hour and given the choice would an employer hire a 16 year old looking for a first job or someone who has prior job experience? Without the exception a high school kid is likely to have a difficult time landing that first job.


  79. - Cornfed - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 11:54 am:

    - limit executive pay- another false flag. Executive pay is a tiny percentage of a company’s revenue


  80. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 11:55 am:

    Rufus, yes companies move from Illinois to Iowa. And it’s not funny to the former Illinois’ employees.


  81. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 11:57 am:

    Low skill jobs do not and should not over pay workers. I made $22,500 in 1995 and lived in Chicago just fine. Even put money in a 401k. Get a roommate.


  82. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 12:00 pm:

    Cheryl, Illinois does not exist in an economic vacuum. Employers have choices. Indiana has a minimum wage of $7.25. So does Iowa, Wisconsin and Kentucky.


  83. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 12:03 pm:

    ===Employers have choices===

    And so do employees.


  84. - Pundent - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 12:08 pm:

    =Employers have choices. Indiana has a minimum wage of $7.25. So does Iowa, Wisconsin and Kentucky.=

    Employees have choices as well. If your argument is that border employers will simply relocate across state lines doesn’t the same hold true for employees? With record low unemployment what would stop anyone from the states you cited in driving across the state line to earn $15 an hour? And what compelling reason would a company paying $7.25 an hour have to keep them?


  85. - #5 - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 12:12 pm:

    - Anonymous - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 11:57 am

    $22,500 in 1995 is equivalent in purchasing power to $37,072.88 in 2018. http://www.in2013dollars.com/1995-dollars-in-2018?amount=22500

    At $15/hr. for a full time job ($31200), this is $6000 less than what you made (adjusted for inflation).


  86. - Lucky Pierre - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 12:15 pm:

    Rufus

    Have you head of the earned income tax credit?

    For tax year 2018, the maximum EITC benefit for a single person or couple filing without qualifying children is $519. The maximum EITC with one qualifying child is $3,461, with two children it is $5,716, and with three or more qualifying children, it is $6,431.[3][4] These amounts are indexed annually for inflation.

    The earned income tax credit has been part of political debates in the United States regarding whether raising the minimum wage or increasing EITC is a better idea.[5][6][7] In a random survey of 568 members of the American Economic Association in 2011, roughly 60% of economists agreed (31.7%) or agreed with provisos (30.8%) that the Earned Income Tax Credit program should be expanded.[8]


  87. - DuPage - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 12:15 pm:

    @- Sue - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 10:14 am:

    ===Illinois needs more jobs not less. You are simply uneducated when it comes to generating jobs.===

    Illinois needs more GOOD jobs, not “race to the bottom jobs”.


  88. - efudd - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 12:17 pm:

    To the Anonymous poster(s)
    1) Pick a nickname. You’re really not that hip.
    2) You’re the same person/people who don’t tip their servers because “no one tips you at your job”, aren’t you.


  89. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 12:26 pm:

    Pundent, pretty hard for people to move somewhere that has no jobs as the employers move out.


  90. - OneMan - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 12:27 pm:

    I wonder how much of this as it becomes a bit more of a national trend this is going to drive automation in lower paying workforces?

    Things like the automated drink filler at the drive-through (and the pop machine in the dining area) and ordering kiosks are just the beginning.

    As the cost of automation, in general, goes down over time and the cost of labor goes up it is going to be easier to justify automating traditionally lower paying tasks. If you come up with (and I am sure there are people working on it) machines that can eliminate two people working in the back during a shift at McDonald’s you eliminate $87,360 in gross pay (excluding SS and other costs) in a year. A 1$00,000 machine pays for itself in a bit over a year.

    It seems logical that large retailers are already looking at this, as time goes on Amazon is like to encourage (force) more standardization on packaging making it easier for automation to worth with.

    I don’t have a problem with an increase in the minimum wage, I would suggest we don’t think of the guy who runs the local DQ as the same level of evil as WalMart.


  91. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 12:28 pm:

    #5, $22.5k in 1995 was a response to Rufus making $24k in 1984.


  92. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 12:30 pm:

    DuPage, you don’t have a strong private sector by the public sector dictating wages. They will simply locate elsewhere.


  93. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 12:30 pm:

    Not at all, minimum tip from me is 20%. Usually more.


  94. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 12:36 pm:

    “And that’s a good thing? Yes, lets strive to pay people less.”

    That’s the idea for the anti-union right wing and others generally of that thinking. They want voters and the public to accept it as a good thing, so they use deceptive words like “job creators” and “right to work.”

    My hope is that a good bill is drafted, that ultimately and relatively quickly raises the minimum wage to $15 per hour while buffering businesses from a quick shock. It’s hard to fathom why, when the richest’s wealth is skyrocketing, we don’t raise the wages of the people at the bottom of earnings. Work is noble in and of itself and should have a floor of wage protection for minimum wage workers.


  95. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 12:37 pm:

    ===1) Pick a nickname.===

    Agreed. I suggest “Mr. Pink.”


  96. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 12:38 pm:

    Grandson, sure. But make it $10 and less downstate that will be crippled by neighboring states.


  97. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 12:44 pm:

    ===1) Pick a nickname.===

    Agreed. I suggest “Mr. Pink.”–

    How’s about “Hang in There?”


  98. - Nonbeleiver - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 12:44 pm:

    Just some interesting info:

    November 1, 2018 Gail Blanchard-Saiger

    The California Labor Code requires an increase to the state minimum wage each year. Effective Jan. 1, 2019, the statewide minimum wage will increase from $11 to $12 per hour for employers with more than 25 employees. This also impacts other wage and hour obligations, such as the minimum salary requirement for exempt employees, which will increase to $49,920.

    In addition to the statewide minimum wage, several cities and counties have adopted their own minimum wage requirements; more information is available on the University of California, Berkeley Labor Center website. In several areas, the minimum wage will increase beginning Jan. 1, 2019 — such as San Jose, where the minimum wage will increase from $13.50 to $15 per hour. In other areas the increase becomes effective July 1, 2019 — such as in the city and county of Los Angeles, where the minimum wage increases from $13.25 to $14.25 per hour. Like the statewide minimum wage, the rates may differ for small employers. Under California law, employers must comply with the highest applicable minimum wage.

    Further, California Labor Code sections 515.5 and 515.6 provide overtime exemptions for certain computer professionals and licensed physicians. One aspect of the exemption requires a minimum rate of pay, which is subject to an annual adjustment by Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) when there is an increase in the Consumer Price Index. Effective Jan. 1, 2019, the licensed physician or surgeon minimum hourly rate of pay to qualify as exempt from overtime will increase from $79.39 to $82.72.

    The computer software professional minimum hourly rate of pay will increase from $38.89 to $39.90 beginning Jan. 1, 2019. The minimum monthly salary will increase from $6,752.19 to $6,927.75, and the minimum annual salary will increase from $81,026.25 to $83,132.93.


  99. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 12:51 pm:

    The fact is that Chicago and Cook are already at $13 later this year and won’t see an increase in this bill under 2024 when it becomes $14 (except for small CPI).

    They will have had 10 years to phase it in.

    Employers outside of Cook/Chicago will have a 5 year phase in time period including a huge $2.75 increase within the first year.

    Park districts, schools, colleges, businesses, farmers, and others will be hit. Governments will ask for tax increases to pay for the increased cost in many cases.

    Downstate is not Chicago. We have prevailing wage rates that are different for the exact same reason.


  100. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 1:05 pm:

    OneMan, further automation is coming, regardless of the minimum wage. Nuevo Ludditism won’t stop it. Never has.


  101. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 1:09 pm:

    ==I made $22,500 in 1995==

    And the current minimum wage gets you less than that a year - in 2019.

    Anyone advocating for lower wages needs their head examined.


  102. - LXB - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 1:10 pm:

    Literally every argument against going to $15 in this thread was made in every other jurisdiction that subsequently went to $15. If you’re making those arguments about Illinois now, and you can’t square them with the experiences of those other jurisdictions, you’re not actually making an argument.


  103. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 1:28 pm:

    ==wonder how much of this as it becomes a bit more of a national trend this is going to drive automation in lower paying work.==

    Yes. All work is threatened with automation, not just low wage work. Doctors are paid well because of what they know and all those years of education, right? One can put all that knowledge in a data base and a computer can spit out what symptoms correlate with possible diseases. A clinic using this software can free up their doctor’s time to do other things. Maybe the clinic can hold off on hiring an additional doctor.

    Anyone who works is threatened by automation.


  104. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 1:35 pm:

    ==I would suggest we don’t think of the guy who runs the local DQ as the same level of evil as WalMart.==

    Evil? I thought we were talking about the minimum wage. Which one puts their pinky finger on their mouth?


  105. - City Zen - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 1:53 pm:

    ==Yes. All work is threatened with automation, not just low wage work.==

    Indeed. The point of automation is to free up humanity to do other, more valuable things. The point isn’t whether or not the proverbial fast food cashier should be making $8 or $15/hr, but that he or she should he probably be doing something else.


  106. - efudd - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 1:59 pm:

    “minimum tip is 20%”
    Sorry, slick, just gave yourself away.
    Anyone who tips at least 20% understands what minimum wage earners must do just to eke by. Philosophically, they would not be against a minimum wage hike.
    I call B.S.


  107. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 2:03 pm:

    ==The point isn’t whether or not the proverbial fast food cashier should be making $8 or $15/hr, but that he or she should he probably be doing somethinag else==

    That something else probably shouldn’t be a doctor or a lawyer since the knowledge based jobs will be the first to be done by robots.


  108. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 2:13 pm:

    efudd, your simply wrong. The government is.t making me tip, see the difference?


  109. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 2:14 pm:

    Demoralized, I was responding to someone that said they couldn’t live on $24k in 1984.

    Get a roommate. That’s what people do.


  110. - City Zen - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 2:16 pm:

    ==doctor or a lawyer since the knowledge based jobs will be the first to be done by robots.==

    I already have the law firm of HAL, HAL, and KITT on retainer.


  111. - Annonin' - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 2:18 pm:

    “Rauner also won promising reform of Illinois business environment and government.
    Democrats did not move one inch towards reforming either.”
    Mr/Ms LP the Ds supported a lot of changes GovJunk wanted tax freeze, cutting insurance co Work Comp profits, but it was never enough. The biz bosses never ever support higher min wage. The GOPies will never support. McSweeney voiced their position. Give more breaks to biz owners and let them raise wages Right.


  112. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 2:22 pm:

    ==Get a roommate. That’s what people do.==

    What’s that Rich always says? Simple solutions are usually neither.


  113. - OneMan - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 2:27 pm:

    == Indeed. The point of automation is to free up humanity to do other, more valuable things.==

    The purpose of automation is to do more things for less and/or quicker and/or better.


  114. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 2:37 pm:

    OneMan, same thing.


  115. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 2:38 pm:

    Living with a roommate or significant other is simple and economically smart.


  116. - BenFolds5 - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 2:41 pm:

    Can we all agree… None of this can happen over night. Man, I appreciate the discourse and that there are MANY issues that this will complicate. From MANY years of Republicans and Democrats not making the tough decisions. It really feels like we need to make them now.


  117. - Arsenal - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 2:48 pm:

    ==The government is.t making me tip, see the difference?==

    Yup, your way is inferior. Just compensation shouldn’t rely on the kindness of customers’ hearts.


  118. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 2:53 pm:

    Why wait tables if it’s unjust?


  119. - Montrose - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 3:06 pm:

    “Why wait tables if it’s unjust?”

    Just stop already.


  120. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 3:10 pm:

    I’ve known quite a few people who waited tables over the years, they make good money at least in Chicago.


  121. - OneMan - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 3:21 pm:

    Wordslinger, higher labor costs encourage automation. Its coming regardless but the incentives are going to be stronger.


  122. - Arsenal - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 4:04 pm:

    ==Why wait tables if it’s unjust?==

    Oh, honey.


  123. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 4:40 pm:

    Again, those who make excuses for why we shouldn’t raise the minimum wage make no complaints about the harm done by giving billion-dollar corporations and other super-rich a huge raise through the federal tax cuts. We’re greatly enriching the already super-wealthy, who take the money and use it mostly to further enrich themselves. This means less money for workers, greater debt and deficits, advantages for those who invest in keeping wages and benefits as low as possible, etc. The extreme levels of income disparity are very harmful, because they threaten to permanently entrench massive advantages.

    Nationally two Democrats are proposing tax hikes for the super-rich, and per a poll out very recently, the ideas are popular. In this economic climate, that’s the way to go.


  124. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 5:06 pm:

    Of course it’s popular to tax other people.


  125. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 5:07 pm:

    Luckily we have a representative democracy and not a direct one.

    As Sue pointed out earlier, see New York for over taxation gone bad.


  126. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 6:18 pm:

    –Cheryl, Illinois does not exist in an economic vacuum. Employers have choices. Indiana has a minimum wage of $7.25. So does Iowa, Wisconsin and Kentucky.–

    So, by your logic, all the Downstate fast-food joints, restaurants and convenience stores that make up the majority of minimum wage jobs are going to move out of state? I wonder if they’ll have any competition there?

    You know what comes first for any business? A market — customers.

    Don’t hold your breath on that Nobel Prize for Economics.


  127. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 6:26 pm:

    Of course they won’t disappear, but they will cut jobs and hours. Downstate doesn’t need a $15 minimum wage.


  128. - Brendan - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 6:41 pm:

    Downstate has been floundering in poverty as is BECAUSE OF LOW WAGES.


  129. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 6:50 pm:

    Artificially increasing wages won’t do anything but drive out jobs.


  130. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 7:13 pm:

    –Of course they won’t disappear, but they will cut jobs and hours.–

    So they were hiring people before that they didn’t need, and operating during hours that weren’t profitable?

    Some of you all act like labor is the only cost facing businesses.

    Other costs don’t go up? Since when?


  131. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 7:41 pm:

    Yes, of course they will reduce headcount to save money and maintain profitability. You act like labor costs has no affect on business. This is especially true in an economically depressed area like downstate illinois. Chicago metro can probably handle it better. Aldi is hiring at $14/hour at a store near me right now.


  132. - Downstate - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 8:31 pm:

    As a onetime Chicago resident who lives in a very rural part of downstate, I don’t think people from the Chicago area either understand or care how severely $15 per hour would hurt downstate, especially the more rural parts. We can barely hold on to the employers we have, let alone bring in new employers.

    My area is not far from Missouri, Kentucky, and Indiana. Why would an employer locate here when costs across the board are so much higher here already and now we’re adding much higher labor costs to the mix? The people who are saying we don’t want the “race to the bottom jobs” don’t understand that, in this area, we would be happy to have more of the jobs you so easily dismiss. Some current low skill manufacturers will stay due to their large investments in plants, others will go. But we’ll never be competitive for any new low skill manufacturing jobs again.

    Policymakers would be wise to tie the rise of the minimum wage to the cost of living and the competitive environment of the various parts of our extremely diverse state.


  133. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Feb 6, 19 @ 6:04 am:

    “I don’t think people from the Chicago area either understand or care how severely $15 per hour would hurt downstate, especially the more rural parts.”
    First of all this has wide support, not just “people from Chicago.” Second, more people with discretionary income means more people spending money, means businesses sell more, means businesses have to hire more people.


  134. - Pick a Name - Wednesday, Feb 6, 19 @ 7:15 am:

    Business people are sharper than politicians. They will adjust, hiring(and keeping) high performers and average and below average workers(and there are many) will struggle to find and keep work. They will automate when they can. The next recession, likely within the next 2 years, will take its toll and unemployment will rise.


  135. - Blue Dog Dem - Wednesday, Feb 6, 19 @ 7:16 am:

    I even wore myself out on this topic a couple of days ago, but i have an update. One of the companies i referenced that was exploring relocation options, is also negotiating with local officials on developing a TIF district. Never know how these end up, but could effectively take several million dollars off the board.


  136. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Feb 6, 19 @ 8:35 am:

    “Second, more people with discretionary income means more people spending money, means businesses sell more, means businesses have to hire more people.”

    So where exactly did the money to pay the higher wages come from? It doesn’t just magically appear. A business has several options, including laying off people and raising the prices of goods, both of which will offset any the supposed effect of consumers having more money to spend. You can’t create economic prosperity by passing laws. It can only come from real people acting unhindered in a free market. Anything else is just misguided tinkering which is bound to have unintended consequences.


  137. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Feb 6, 19 @ 8:43 am:

    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.


  138. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Feb 6, 19 @ 9:15 am:

    “So where exactly did the money to pay the higher wages come from? It doesn’t just magically appear.”
    From people who already have discretionary income. They aren’t gonna suddenly disappear.


  139. - Pick a Name - Wednesday, Feb 6, 19 @ 9:31 am:

    Anon 8:43 and 9:15, I speculate you don’t run a business.

    True or false?


  140. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Feb 6, 19 @ 11:19 am:

    Pick a Name: because a person isn’t allowed to make an observation, even if he sees it with his own eyes, is that it? The serf must claim to see what the master sees, even if the serf sees something different.


  141. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Feb 6, 19 @ 12:02 pm:

    “From people who already have discretionary income. They aren’t gonna suddenly disappear.”

    They’re not gonna suddenly disappear, but they will likely spend less if the price of goods is increased by a business to cover the increased wages being paid. And if a business has to lay folks off in order to make payroll, then some buyers will actually disappear from the marketplace. The money has to come from somewhere. Artificially raising wages is not the same as wages that increase as a natural result of a healthy economy.


  142. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Feb 6, 19 @ 1:29 pm:

    There’s this:
    http://cepr.net/blogs/cepr-blog/2014-job-creation-in-states-that-raised-the-minimum-wage


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