*** UPDATE 1 *** Gov. Pritzker met with the Senate Democrats earlier today and I’m hearing it went well. The Senate Democrats’ spokesman just told reporters he believes the minimum wge bill, SB1, will be run on the floor shortly. Looks like the holdouts weren’t able to stop a roll call. Click here for an analysis of the bill.
…Adding… The bill, as amended in committee yesterday, is now up for debate. Click here to watch.
*** UPDATE 2 *** The bill passed with 39 votes. For some odd reason, the Senate President did not vote.
…Adding… I’m told President Cullerton was “watching the roll call” and didn’t vote. Oops. He’s filing a letter now to reflect his intention to vote “Yes.”
*** UPDATE 3 *** IRMA…
“We are disappointed the Senate did not take the time to address ways to lessen the impact of an unprecedented wage hike, particularly on suburban and downstate employers. We will continue to seek a compromise in the House, and we urge legislators to not rush this issue as they consider the implications this will have on employers and employees in their communities,” said Rob Karr, president & CEO, Illinois Retail Merchants Association.
*** UPDATE 4 *** ILGOP…
[ *** End Of Updates *** ]
Did Governor Pritzker have any intention to return to the ‘agreed-bill’ process? On his first major legislative initiative, that answer is a hard no. This is the same failed form of governing that put Illinois in the poor fiscal condition it’s in. Pritzker is ignoring the concerns of Republican lawmakers and business leaders as he attempts to ram through legislation that would nearly double the state’s minimum wage just so he can chalk up a ‘win’ before his budget address, but at what cost?
Pritzker’s minimum wage hike will crush small businesses and will cost taxpayers at least a billion dollars a year once the plan is fully implemented, and that’s not even a complete estimate. Pritzker’s administration has not disclosed the full amount of increased spending his wage hike would require. Pritzker’s reckless budgeting will cost taxpayers and small businesses dearly. It is yet another Pritzker proposal that will bankrupt Illinois.
* Last night on Illinois Public Radio…
llinois lawmakers may be slowing the process to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025. The proposal was expected to be called for a vote and passed out of the Senate as soon as Thursday.
State Sen. Kim Lightford (D-Maywood), sponsor of the plan, said Gov. J.B. Pritzker wanted the bill approved in time for his budget address on Feb. 20. […]
For that to happen, the Senate would need to approve the plan before they leave Springfield this week. With ongoing negotiations, Lightford is not sure that will happen.
“I think anything can still happen around here,” said Lightford. “I think there is some conversations that are definitely going to happen this evening. I don’t know if they’ll yield returns enough for me to move this bill forward tomorrow.”
* Capital News Illinois…
Gov. J.B. Pritzker has said he would like the minimum wage bill, his first major policy push, approved by the time he gives his budget address on Feb. 20. But Senate Majority Leader Kimberly Lightford, a Maywood Democrat and the bill’s lead sponsor, exhibited a more cautious tone after a near two-hour private caucus of Senate Democrats which preceded the Executive Committee hearing.
“If we move the needle (in negotiations) tonight and it’s something that we can take back to the caucus and have a conversation and caucus is comfortable with it, then possibly (it could be voted on Thursday),” Lightford said. […]
The Illinois Restaurant Association, which represents 27,000 restaurants employing 577,000 people across the state according to its president Sam Toia, testified as a proponent of the bill while noting it’s a “tough pill to swallow.”
Toia said the inclusion of a tip credit, which requires employers to pay only 60 percent of the minimum wage to tipped workers, allowed the IRA to support the wage increase.
Subscribers know more.
“[Yesterday’s Senate Executive Committee] vote was carried out without the concerns of the business community in mind, particularly retailers in downstate and suburban communities who are less able to absorb such a dramatic increase in labor costs compared to their counterparts in the city of Chicago. As we try to strike a balance that will benefit workers and employers across the state, the business community has proposed a regional plan to increase the state’s minimum wage based on the economic realities in different parts of the state. We urge lawmakers to pause and think about the local employers in their districts while working toward a solution that will benefit everyone,” said Rob Karr, president & CEO, Illinois Retail Merchants Association.
“Increasing the minimum wage for Illinois businesses by 82 percent will have a detrimental impact on employers across the state,” said Mark Denzler, president and CEO of the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association. “The IMA and the business community have offered real alternatives to help mitigate the negative impact on job creators in Illinois. This includes a minimum wage based on geography, because the cost of living in downstate Illinois is significantly less than it is in the city of Chicago. We’ve also asked for a longer implementation of the minimum wage increase and more robust tax credits for small employers. Lawmakers should give serious consideration to these ideas instead of rushing through legislation that makes it harder for manufacturers to operate.”
* One Illinois…
A statewide hike in the minimum wage to $15 an hour would have the greatest impact on earnings outside Chicago, according to a new study released Tuesday.
In some ways, that’s not surprising, as Chicago has already moved to raise its minimum wage to $13 over a five-year span set to be completed this summer. But according to “The Regional Impacts of a $15 Minimum Wage in Illinois,” released Tuesday by the Illinois Economic Policy Institute, a $15 minimum wage would still raise annual earnings by $5,000 for low-income workers in the Chicago area, and would have an even greater impact on other metropolitan areas including central Illinois, Rockford, and the so-called Metro East area near St. Louis.
The study projects that a $15 minimum wage would hike annual earnings $8,000 in central Illinois around Springfield, and $7,000 in east-central Illinois including Champaign-Urbana and around Rockford. Wages would rise $6,000 in Metro East.
The study suggests: “These higher incomes … would boost consumer spending at local retail stores, restaurants, and small businesses — offsetting any initial drop in employment or hours.”
It cites how four states have already adopted a $15-an-hour minimum wage, including New Jersey just last week, while 19 states overall moved to increase their minimum wages in some way with the new year. Illinois residents already voted in a 2014 advisory referendum to support a hike in the minimum wage, with 83 of the state’s 102 counties voting in favor.
“Working-class families in Illinois are falling behind their peers in other states,” said study co-author and ILEPI Policy Director Frank Manzo IV. “A $15 minimum wage would boost earnings for more than 1.4 million adult workers across Illinois.