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Question of the day

Thursday, Feb 7, 2019

* Should the House amend the Senate-approved minimum wage bill? If so, how?

- Posted by Rich Miller        

36 Comments »
  1. - Goner - Thursday, Feb 7, 19 @ 2:51 pm:

    Yes. Follow the New York model and build a slower on-ramp for rural areas and provide time for the rest of the state to test the data and metrics to approve before the downstate portion reaches all the way to $15.


  2. - wordslinger - Thursday, Feb 7, 19 @ 2:51 pm:

    No. Looks good to me. Gradual, predictable and with tax credits for small biz.

    The state’s minimum wage has been $8.25 since 2010. If this bill passes, it will be $9.25 on January 1. Plenty of time to plan and accommodate it.

    A $1 bump after nine years ain’t exactly a runaway train.


  3. - Perrid - Thursday, Feb 7, 19 @ 2:56 pm:

    I don’t think so. I think the tax credits are pretty good as is, though I can see business wanting the percentage to be the difference in the new minimum wage and $8.25, instead of just the prior minimum wage.

    I also like how it’s a little front loaded, going up $2.75 from 12/31/2019 to 1/1/2021. Again, I can see business wanting to slow that down, spread it out more, but I think we need to vent some pressure now. Wages have been stagnant for a while.


  4. - Just Me 2 - Thursday, Feb 7, 19 @ 2:58 pm:

    Anytime a bill is passed this fast it always has mistakes and unintended consequences. Slow it down at least.


  5. - 360 Degree TurnAround - Thursday, Feb 7, 19 @ 3:02 pm:

    No


  6. - Homer Simpson's Brain - Thursday, Feb 7, 19 @ 3:02 pm:

    Yes. After 2025, the minimum wage should be automatically indexed to CPI plus productivity growth or CPI, whichever is higher.


  7. - Informed Mom - Thursday, Feb 7, 19 @ 3:03 pm:

    As long as we’re discussing dignity in relation to pay, I’d like to see an amendment eliminating the subminimum wage for people with disabilities. We also need an amendment to add on incentive pay (and ensure funding) for people who provide care in home and community settings.


  8. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, Feb 7, 19 @ 3:06 pm:

    No. It’s a gradual increase with tax credits. May it pass quickly and get to the governor’s desk.


  9. - Earnest - Thursday, Feb 7, 19 @ 3:06 pm:

    I think that if a gradual increase combined with tax credits is not going to bring any minimum wage opponents on board they should amend to increase to $15 on March 1. Then they should go right to work on addressing healthcare costs which are big economic issues for small and medium-sized businesses and many middle class Illinoisans.


  10. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Feb 7, 19 @ 3:09 pm:

    ===Anytime a bill is passed this fast ===

    It’s basically the same bill both chambers passed in 2017.


  11. - Notorious RBG - Thursday, Feb 7, 19 @ 3:15 pm:

    No. $8.25/hr is not a living wage anywhere in the state. There’s plenty of time built in for employers to figure out how to manage the changes.


  12. - Office Lady - Thursday, Feb 7, 19 @ 3:21 pm:

    No. As an office manager of a non-profit in Southern Illinois, with 3 employees, I can tell you that none of us make $15 an hour. We all make enough to have middle class lifestyles. We have a nice benefit package and that helps. I have been here 16 years, and am very happy with my salary and benefits. If I have to pay all of us at least $15 an hour, the money will come from programs and activities or staff cuts, which will mean cuts to programs. We cannot afford $15 an hour, nor do we need it.


  13. - Office Lady - Thursday, Feb 7, 19 @ 3:21 pm:

    As an office manager of a non-profit in Southern Illinois, with 3 employees, I can tell you that none of us make $15 an hour. We all make enough to have middle class lifestyles. We have a nice benefit package and that helps. I have been here 16 years, and am very happy with my salary and benefits. If I have to pay all of us at least $15 an hour, the money will come from programs and activities or staff cuts, which will mean cuts to programs. We cannot afford $15 an hour, nor do we need it.


  14. - Iggy - Thursday, Feb 7, 19 @ 3:26 pm:

    Republicans had a chance to logically deal with this issue, its absurd to think that 8.25 an hour is enough to get by. we could have had a sensible ramp up to 11 or 12 dollars. Instead we are going to get 15. Democrats have earned this opportunity, run with it.


  15. - PublicServant - Thursday, Feb 7, 19 @ 3:36 pm:

    No. The bill is fine. Pass it out of the house. Give the governor a quick win, and show the ratings agencies that Illinois government is no longer gridlocked.


  16. - ShyBoy - Thursday, Feb 7, 19 @ 3:39 pm:

    @OfficeLady

    You are making and paying your employees less than $30,000 per year in wages. None of you are middle class. You must have other people in your households contributing income, because even $13 per hour is just 26k per year. A family of four living on that wage is just a few weeks pay above the poverty line.

    You are severely underpaid and you deserve better funding support from the state, something that Guzzardi has said we will need to find new funding sources to fairly compensate non-profits to handle the wage increase.


  17. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Feb 7, 19 @ 3:45 pm:

    If the HDems can show it’ll pass as-is, and the governor can sign it, then let it be. At this point, the legislative actions that can be seen as governing functioning are as important as a win for the governor.

    Getting cute to be, or seem to be, more thoughtful wont earn enough political capital if the votes are there.


  18. - DuPage Saint - Thursday, Feb 7, 19 @ 3:46 pm:

    I never knew that people with disabilities can be hired at sub minimum wages. that is wrong and needs to be changed
    As to proposal good pass it but index to inflation


  19. - SAP - Thursday, Feb 7, 19 @ 3:48 pm:

    No. My personal preference would have been a slower ramp and tiered for different regions of the State to reflect different costs of living. However, the House gave a wink-wink/nudge-nudge to the Senate and the Governor that it would move with this proposal. Amending the bill would be poor form.


  20. - Nick Name - Thursday, Feb 7, 19 @ 4:18 pm:

    No. I especially like the lower-tiered minimum for part-timers under age 18. Pretty much deflates the “high school burger flippers don’t need $15 an hour” objection.


  21. - Louis G. Atsaves - Thursday, Feb 7, 19 @ 4:25 pm:

    Had my late Father’s restaurant been located in Lake County instead of Chicago, minimum wage workers would receive an increase of $110.00 per week using a 40 hour work week. He averaged between 16-24 such workers a week, all of them dishwashers, busboys and waitresses. $110.00 per week x 52 = $85,800.00 in pay increases. Add the portions employers are required to contribute to in taxes, SSI, etc. and you are pushing $100,000.00 in extra expenses within a single year.

    Food (no pun intended) for thought.

    Options would be to raise prices across the board on menu items already having a tight profit structure. An across the board price increase usually meant a drop in regular clientel business and loss of gross income. Gradually increasing prices here and there on the menu would mean eating (no pun intended) the vast majority of costs foisted upon that small business.

    The tax credit doesn’t cover as much as you would think in that business.

    The big chains will survive. The family owned places, will continue to close up shop. This should just speed that process along, leaving unemployed approximately 40 employees.

    I know politicians don’t want to hear this, and rapidly raising the minimum wage outside of Cook County feels good, but the ultimate results will be painful for the Mom and Pop businesses that hire a significant number of our current work-force.

    It seems like those arguments fell on deaf ears. Oh, well.

    Stretch out the scheduled increases and increase the tax credits and stretch them out as well. That’s the least our politicians can do to try to reach a happy medium for all concerned.


  22. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, Feb 7, 19 @ 4:42 pm:

    “Stretch out the scheduled increases”

    They did that, so that should be good. It’s basically a $1 hike until 2025. Good for the folks who work hard for their money, like the fast food franchise workers who get my coffee on most days. I shop there instead of making it at home, partly to give business and help keep these folks working. I too am a job creator.


  23. - Just Me 2 - Thursday, Feb 7, 19 @ 4:44 pm:

    ===It’s basically the same bill both chambers passed in 2017.===

    That bill was designed to be vetoed and made into a campaign ad. It wasn’t designed to actually become law.


  24. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Feb 7, 19 @ 4:51 pm:

    Louis, I don’t know anything about your father’s restaurant, but I worked in several restaurants in my youth as a dishwasher and busboy. At no time did I ever earn minimum wage. The wait staff was expected to tip out the other employees, so each waiter I bussed for gave me a portion of his or her tips.

    This was in the early 1980s, but my impression is that was common practice in most independent restaurants.

    Your father sounds like a generous man and it also sounds like business was good, given the number of dishwashers and busboys and other minimum wage workers he needed to meet the demands of his business.


  25. - jimbo26 - Thursday, Feb 7, 19 @ 4:58 pm:

    Pass it as it is. Regional wage is a way to destroy the bill. If I work in Carbondale and drive 20 miles each way I have to have a car and put gas in it & have insurance. If I live in Chicago, I can take public transportation. Different areas have different costs but they are costs.


  26. - wordslinger - Thursday, Feb 7, 19 @ 6:36 pm:

    Louis, you realize that under this proposal the minimum wage would not go to $15 immediately?

    In fact, it would remain at $8.25 for nearly 11 months, and then rise to $9.25 on January 1, when tax credits would become available?

    Have all other costs associated with running a restaurant remain unchanged since 2010, the last time the minimum wage was raised?

    Is a $1 bump next year really such a shock-and-awe change that it cannot be accommodated and would drive family owned restaurants out of business?

    You don’t think anyone else would seek to claim that abandoned market?


  27. - the old man - Thursday, Feb 7, 19 @ 8:01 pm:

    Yes the House should speed up the Minimum Wage Law so more small businesses can go out of business faster and more people can out migrate from Illinois.


  28. - Louis G. Atsaves - Thursday, Feb 7, 19 @ 10:09 pm:

    @wordslinger, I realized that and took into account the first full calendar year. I did the payroll for the restaurant for nearly 8 years so my numbers are more factual than you realize.

    If it doesn’t bother you, fine. If you consider all the Mom and Pop business types who heavily invested their personal funds to run such operations, then need to find nearly $100,000 in a calendar year to continue operations under this new Act, then the legislature should pay a little more attention. I can see some of them closing and jobs being lost unless they are willing to stretch both the wage increases and tax credits further than what is currently being proposed.

    If my old man’s place were still around, it would probably be either a breakfast/lunch only operation now (eliminating one shift of workers) or lunch/dinner.


  29. - wordslinger - Thursday, Feb 7, 19 @ 10:44 pm:

    Louis, I make 13 increases in the Illinois minimum wage since 1971 (the last in 2011).

    What did you guys do all those times?

    https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/STTMINWGIL


  30. - Lucky Pierre - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 12:53 am:

    How many of those increases raised the minimum wage 82% in 6 years?

    The best way to amend this is to have an off ramp provision that allows an increase to be nullified if it turns out unemployment rises to a predetermined level relative to our neighboring states.

    How has it worked out for Illinois to have Cook County Democrats pass their one size fits all policies for the rest of the state?

    Have you seen the Red/Blue Map in recent elections?


  31. - Louis G. Atsaves - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 5:01 am:

    @wordslinger, most past increases were between 25 cents to 40 cents an hour. Your posted chart reflects that. As I posted previously, these minor increases were absorbed or there were some minor adjustments to menu prices. The scale now on the table is far more dramatic.

    Every mom and pop business has a story how they survived or failed to survive under such circumstances. Do the math and add it up to get to an annual hit and ask yourself how you would pay. But those arguments have been brushed aside.

    Mom and pop operations do not have the political pull or voices to be heard in such situations. That is why you see fewer and fewer of them around these days.


  32. - Anonymous - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 6:25 am:

    Louis G Atsaves, you are making an assumption.

    “Options would be to raise prices across the board on menu items already having a tight profit structure. An across the board price increase usually meant a drop in regular clientel business and loss of gross income.”

    Except your dad’s employees wouldn’t be the only people getting a wage increase. Everyone who made minimum wages near your dad’s restaurant would get a wage increase. People who never eat in restaurants would now be able to afford a meal in your dad’s fine establishment. Your dad will sell more pancakes and maybe even have to hire more people to keep up with the demand.

    But I’m sure the doctors and lawyers and CEOs and other regulars would see that pancakes went up a dime and would start eating at home, rather than pay a dime more.


  33. - wordslinger - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 9:13 am:

    –Mom and pop operations do not have the political pull or voices to be heard in such situations. That is why you see fewer and fewer of them around these days.–

    The minimum wage has not increased since 2011. If this bill is enacted, it will not increase until January 1. So I hardly think that it is the cause of mom and pop going out of business in recent years.

    I’ll ask again — what other costs associated with running a restaurant have remained the same for eight years? How do you handle other rising costs?


  34. - Louis G. Atsaves - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 10:56 am:

    ===”People who never eat in restaurants would now be able to afford a meal in your dad’s fine establishment.”===

    So a family of four living on a minimum wage for the first year adjustments as (almost) enacted would be able to spend roughly $80.00 to $110.00 (based on what they order) representing 8 to 10 hours of pay based a 40 hour week by the end of the first year? Or between 20% to nearly 28% of a single week’s paycheck?

    Checked out the McDonald’s menu for “meals” offered. A family of four would probably pay around $30.00 or 7.5% of a weekly paycheck.

    I know no one wants to do any real math, but if my family were still in the restaurant business I would advise them not to increase their expectations of more business.


  35. - Louis G. Atsaves - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 11:01 am:

    @word, I singled out earnings as the bill singles out minimum wage earnings.

    You want me to detail increased costs since 2011 had the place remained open? Like property taxes? Increased licensing fees, including those for smokes and liquor, business license, awning license, food service license?

    We used to have a dozen licenses framed and hanging by the cash register.

    What’s your point?


  36. - Anonymous - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 11:13 am:

    Burger King right now has a coupon for $3 for a meal. $3 times 4 = $12.
    Are we assuming there is only one breadwinner in this family of four?


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