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*** UPDATED x1 *** Restaurant Association takes heat for minimum wage deal

Wednesday, Feb 13, 2019

* Hannah Meisel at the Daily Line

After a bill to raise Illinois’ minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025 passed the Illinois Senate last week on a party-line vote, Gov. JB Pritzker — who has been pushing Democratic leaders to get the measure passed before his Budget Address next week — boasted that SB 1 is endorsed by a key business group in Illinois.

“This bill has the support of the Illinois Restaurant Association and will allow restaurant workers and restaurant owners to succeed,” Pritzker told reporters at the Capitol last week, before ticking off the other merits of the bill.

Sam Toia, president and CEO of the Illinois Restaurant Association, had indeed signed off on the bill ahead of Wednesday’s committee vote to send SB 1 to the Senate floor.

But in Springfield Monday, downstate members of the Illinois Restaurant Association told The Daily Line that they weren’t asked, and that Toia doesn’t speak for them.

And, man, are they ever mad.

* Channel 20

Across from the Illinois Governor’s mansion, you’ll find Loukinens’ on Fourth.

The restaurant opened in October 2017, but owners Kevin and Laurie Loukinen are concerned a $15 minimum wage hike could force them to close their doors.

“If I increase minimum wage at $15 an hour, then I have to increase supervisor pay, then I have to increase manager pay, then I have to match all the payroll taxes that go with that and all the property taxes that go with that,” Laurie Loukinen said.

Laurie Loukinen said she once asked Gov. JB Pritzker to not harm her business while he was eating at her restaurant with his wife.

“He was in this very dining room and I said, ‘Just tell me you’re going to do a good job and that you’re not going to kill me as a business for the sake of Chicago,’ and he stood right here in my dining room and he said, ‘I will not do that to you,’” Laurie Loukinen said. “And I take Governor Pritzker at his word.”

You gotta wonder how the governor’s next visit to that restaurant is gonna go.

Meanwhile, the owner of Obed and Isaac’s compared her stand against the minimum wage hike to Winston Churchill during World War II. I kid you not.

* This is not to make light of their arguments. The governor has said that he would listen to all sides and points to the Illinois Restaurant Association as supporters even though some restaurant owners are up in arms about this bill. They do have a right to be upset. And a regionalized system does make some sense

The news conference was organized by the Illinois Retail Merchants Association, which is pressing lawmakers to enact a tiered minimum wage. Its proposal would have a $15 wage in Chicago, while the suburbs surrounding Chicago would have a $13 wage and the rest of the state would have an $11 minimum wage by 2025.

The differences are meant to reflect that it’s cheaper to live outside of Chicago and that other areas of the state do not have the same economic activity as Chicago. The states of Oregon and New York use a tiered approach, paying a higher minimum wage in a major urban area and lower wages in less-populated areas.

Frankly, though, if I was a Downstate worker making minimum wage, I’d be awfully upset that Chicagoans were paid more by law to do the exact same job for the exact same employer. A regionalized minimum wage would literally codify the alleged Chicago advantage that Downstaters so often complain about.

…Adding… ILGOP…

“Governor Pritzker is misleading the people of Illinois about his minimum wage plan by falsely claiming it’s the product of compromise and Republican input, even though no Republicans support it. If Pritzker thinks it’s a ‘Republican idea’ to phase in the wage hike over six years as opposed to three or enact insufficient tax credits for small business, he’s wrong. Pritzker pledged to listen to Republicans and compromise, but it turns out those were just empty, meaningless words.” - Illinois Republican Party Spokesman Aaron DeGroot

*** UPDATE *** It’s on a rail…



- Posted by Rich Miller        

85 Comments
  1. - Midstate Indy - Wednesday, Feb 13, 19 @ 11:24 am:

    I have several acquaintances that will eventually be impacted by the $15 wage. They share a near unanimous opposition to raising the minimum wage. Their fear is essentially ‘Chicago will force our business to close and we will lose our jobs.’ The anti-Chicago (Anything more than 2 hours north of wherever you happen to be in Illinois) idea parroted so strongly by downstate legislators, business and civic leaders, et al has permeated into the working ranks like Stockholm Syndrome.


  2. - LTSW - Wednesday, Feb 13, 19 @ 11:24 am:

    I heard Ms Loukinen on the news. I thought to myself she’s not likely to generate much sympathy from blokes like me. I’ve only dined there a few times and it’s the best but my last bill was $150 before tip for two people.


  3. - curtis - Wednesday, Feb 13, 19 @ 11:24 am:

    “The owner of Obed and Isaac’s compared her stand against the minimum wage hike to Winston Churchill during World War II”

    Ah yes, fighting Nazis and leading a country is akin to fighting to keep your workers in poverty wages.

    Get a grip, people.


  4. - StixHix - Wednesday, Feb 13, 19 @ 11:24 am:

    Here’s what I wrote to Mark Maxwell:

    With respect to the proposed increase in minimum wage I’ll say
    this about your interview with Karen Conn at Obed & Isaac’s.

    She sure wears nice (expensive looking) clothes, while her
    employees likely shop at Goodwill for theirs. Too bad she might
    have to lower herself to shopping at Kohl’s. As for the prospect of
    raising prices–if you can afford to eat at a “gastro pub”, you can afford
    to pay the people that make your food and pour your drinks a decent wage.


  5. - Been There - Wednesday, Feb 13, 19 @ 11:25 am:

    ===, then I have to increase manager pay, then I have to match all the payroll taxes that go with that and all the property taxes that go with that,” Laurie Loukinen said.===
    Property taxes? Explain that please. When you start rambling on throwing every excuse in the world out there your credibility goes right our the window. And have you seen the prices at that place?


  6. - Give Me A Break - Wednesday, Feb 13, 19 @ 11:25 am:

    The owner of Obed and Isaacs needs stay away from TV media. She cam across as not really caring about her staff and started in with talking points for right wing about gvt mandates.

    To their credit, the reporter asked her if she was on the receiving end of TIF district benefits and that was gvt helping her. She looked like a deer in the headlights trying to come up with answer about her loving some TIF benefits.


  7. - Roman - Wednesday, Feb 13, 19 @ 11:26 am:

    == codify the alleged Chicago advantage ==

    Isn’t that kind of a double edge sword? A downstate minimum wage worker would certainly see it that way. But a Chicago area business owner would think the law was giving downstate businesses an unfair advantage.


  8. - JS Mill - Wednesday, Feb 13, 19 @ 11:27 am:

    =Frankly, though, if I was a Downstate worker making minimum wage, I’d be awfully upset that Chicagoans were paid more by law to do the exact same job for the exact same employer. A regionalized minimum wage would literally codify the alleged Chicago advantage that Downstaters so often complain about.=

    You can certainly look at it that way, but much of the talk around raising the wage was about a living wage. If that is the case then regionalizing the minimum wage makes some sense. And there is a wage index (the exact name escapes me at this moment).

    On top of that a lot of jobs, even public sector jobs, are compensated differently based on where you live and work so that is nothing new.

    So, if they don’t regionalize minimum wage will they make sure we are all paid the same as people doing the same job in Chicago? /s


  9. - lakeside - Wednesday, Feb 13, 19 @ 11:30 am:

    But it… does cost less to live in many other areas of the state. A state salary that gets you roommates in Chicago gets you your own home in Springfield. (Please don’t get me wrong, I support $15 across the board, but if this is a compromise struck to help give all min wage workers a lift, I’m interested.)

    If the additional 2-4 dollars an hour is such a draw, perhaps it can attract more people back to the city, as discussed in the other post.


  10. - Frank Manzo IV - Wednesday, Feb 13, 19 @ 11:31 am:

    The minimum wage is intended to ensure that working-class individuals can sustain families and cover living expenses. According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, the current wage needed for a full-time worker to afford a modest two-bedroom apartment at fair market rent is currently:
    *$22.69 in the Chicago area
    *$17.23 in the St. Louis area
    *$15.88 in the Springfield area
    *$14.96 in the Peoria area
    *$13.39 in “Combined Nonmetro Areas” (a.k.a. rural Illinois).

    In six years, after the minimum wage would hit $15 per hour, that $13.39 today would be $15.08, assuming 2% inflation based on the Federal Reserve’s target rate. [Math: 13.39*(1.02^6)]

    Put simply, a $15 minimum wage would allow families to maintain a decent standard of living in every corner of the state.

    Now, you can quibble and say that a working-class individual doesn’t “deserve” a modest two-bedroom apartment, I’m sure, but that may be a bit of a tough sell to voters in a state where one man owns a $58 million home in Chicago.

    https://nlihc.org/oor/illinois


  11. - A guy - Wednesday, Feb 13, 19 @ 11:31 am:

    In many small businesses, margins are thin. This is a really big deal to a lot of them. I know many employers who have prided themselves on paying “more” than the minimum. To pay more than $15 would make that a hard place to get to. And the restaurant owner that takes into account the multiplier this would have up the chain of employees with more responsibility is right. It affects everyone. The extra SS contributions add up too.

    This one’s going to be hard a good number of businesses. Some will close. The margin just isn’t there.


  12. - Langhorne - Wednesday, Feb 13, 19 @ 11:32 am:

    What share of restaurant workers are tipped? What is their wage/tip split in the law? It is still a hit for owners, but not all their employees will be going to $15.


  13. - thoughts matter - Wednesday, Feb 13, 19 @ 11:33 am:

    Just like every other business, restaurants will pass their increased costs onto their customers. I’ve read that raising restaurant employees wages wound raise the cost of a nice meal by a couple dollars, on average. Truthfully, I wouldn’t notice all that much. Furthermore, wait staff will still be exempted from minimum wage just like they are now.


  14. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Feb 13, 19 @ 11:35 am:

    ===What is their wage/tip split in the law?===

    Google is your friend. It’s 60/40 in Illinois.


  15. - Cheryl44 - Wednesday, Feb 13, 19 @ 11:36 am:

    If your business depends on your workers being on the dole you should go out of business.


  16. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Feb 13, 19 @ 11:36 am:

    –Meanwhile, the owner of Obed and Isaac’s compared her stand against the minimum wage hike to Winston Churchill during World War II. I kid you not.–

    Well, that just heightens credibility.

    Watch the video. She did it, for real. With a very straight face, to say the least. Not a bit, at all.

    You expect that kind of nonsense from day-drinkers bolted to stools at the end of the bar, not sober booze peddlers.

    (Never been to the joint; is everyone there as much fun as her, all the time?).

    Her temptation to invoke the Via Dolorosa must have been excruciating.

    For crying out loud, what are your other costs of doing business that have not gone up for nine years?


  17. - Give Me A Break - Wednesday, Feb 13, 19 @ 11:37 am:

    I’m also having trouble hearing the woe is me speech from the same person who owns the Inn on Second Street and just bought the Mansion on Elkhart Hill.


  18. - Feeder pig - Wednesday, Feb 13, 19 @ 11:37 am:

    methinks Ms. Loukinen protests too much while hiding that she opens the place up at all hours for Big Boy and his braintrust


  19. - GV - Wednesday, Feb 13, 19 @ 11:37 am:

    By the ounce, it’s cheaper to have a ribeye at BLT Prime in the Trump Hotel in Washington DC than it is to have a ribeye at Loukinen’s on 4th. ($2.68 an oz vs. $2.87 an oz) I think it won’t be a raise in the minimum wage that will be the end of that business venture.


  20. - Bigtwich - Wednesday, Feb 13, 19 @ 11:38 am:

    According to Google a cup of coffee around Hyde Park is $1.78. Across from Lincoln’s home it is $1.75. $2.12 avarge price in Chicago.


  21. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Feb 13, 19 @ 11:40 am:

    I wonder how many members the Restaurant Association has outside of the Chicagoland area.


  22. - City Zen - Wednesday, Feb 13, 19 @ 11:42 am:

    Loukinens’ has nothing to worry about. With the heavy bureaucratic arsenal being put in place and the doubling of staff salaries, JB’s underlings will need as much “Upscale Dining” as they can get.


  23. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Feb 13, 19 @ 11:44 am:

    I only visit Obed and Isaac’s infrequently but now it will be zero. Have never been to the other place and won’t be going now.


  24. - Albany Park Patriot - Wednesday, Feb 13, 19 @ 11:50 am:

    If you can’t afford your rent you can’t open a business either. Being able to have a business model that supports paying a $15 wage for your workers is totally reasonable.


  25. - Outsider - Wednesday, Feb 13, 19 @ 11:50 am:

    Keeping wages very low adds to the exodus of young people from rural/semi-rural areas to the big city.


  26. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Feb 13, 19 @ 11:51 am:

    Meanwhile, the owner of Obed and Isaac’s compared her stand against the minimum wage hike to Winston Churchill during World War II.

    Never has so much sturm und drang been made by so many for so small an overdue bump for so few.


  27. - Saluki - Wednesday, Feb 13, 19 @ 11:54 am:

    Thank you to Odeb and Isaacs for not being afraid to speak out against this attack on business and workers.


  28. - Thomas Paine - Wednesday, Feb 13, 19 @ 11:56 am:

    Rich - are any of those grumbling downstate legislators suggesting that they should be paid less for doing the same job as their Chicago counterparts?


  29. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Feb 13, 19 @ 12:00 pm:

    –According to Google a cup of coffee around Hyde Park is $1.78. Across from Lincoln’s home it is $1.75. $2.12 avarge price in Chicago.–

    And you can get a large coffee at any McDonalds in the country for a buck.

    Same price in Beverly Hills or Midtown Manhattan as it is in East St. Louis or West Englewood. And in every place, the markup is still exponential.


  30. - City Zen - Wednesday, Feb 13, 19 @ 12:08 pm:

    ==Being able to have a business model that supports paying a $15 wage for your workers is totally reasonable==

    Good point. Can you point us to your business model(s)?


  31. - Shemp - Wednesday, Feb 13, 19 @ 12:12 pm:

    Why is it that the State can do prevailing wage county by county, but not minimum wage? Hmmm….


  32. - Century Club - Wednesday, Feb 13, 19 @ 12:15 pm:

    Those restaurants should thank Toia. His willingness to deal has kept safe the provision that allows them to pay tipped workers much less than the minimum wage.


  33. - Hyde Parker - Wednesday, Feb 13, 19 @ 12:22 pm:

    == Why is it that the State can do prevailing wage county by county, but not minimum wage? Hmmm…. ==

    They can, and they are choosing not to.

    Eventually, Chicago candidates are going to be running on an ~$17-19 minimum wage and this regionalized talking point point will be moot. Actually, if Pritzker does sign this next week, maybe a couple mayoral candidates will even say that in the lead-up to the election??


  34. - Truthseeker - Wednesday, Feb 13, 19 @ 12:22 pm:

    The cost of living is real. Downstate at a huge disadvantage as $15 an hour is dramatically more money than the same wage in Chicago and the collars.

    Even prevailing wage standards recognize regional cost of living differences. To not recognize this with the minimum wage is lazy legislatively.


  35. - Michelle Flaherty - Wednesday, Feb 13, 19 @ 12:33 pm:

    Someone might want to remind Ms. Conn that Winston Churchill’s party was crushed by the Labour Party in the 1945 election and he was forced to resign, in part because of rhetoric that made him seem elitist and out of touch with average workers.


  36. - Perrid - Wednesday, Feb 13, 19 @ 12:38 pm:

    Not codifying discrimination is a good idea. Set the floor statewide. It would be best if the feds did it, but they won’t increase it a cent so here we are.


  37. - pawn - Wednesday, Feb 13, 19 @ 12:39 pm:

    Do restaurants not get that they are almost always a luxury item? No one needs to eat at a restaurant so long as they have access to a kitchen. It’s a nice thing to do and I am almost always happy when I get to, but sheesh (exclamation point.) You think they would applaud because when people’s wages rise they may be more able to afford a restaurant meal now and then.


  38. - Jocko - Wednesday, Feb 13, 19 @ 12:41 pm:

    ==then I have to increase supervisor pay, then I have to increase manager pay==

    How about taking on one of those roles and pass the savings to your employees?


  39. - Merica - Wednesday, Feb 13, 19 @ 12:43 pm:

    Cost of living comparisons are often manipulated and incorrectly analyzed. I would argue that the difference in COI between Springfield and Chicago is often exaggerated, and they are much closer, ie Springfield isn’t that cheap, when you compare apples to apples.

    Clearly if you compare Springfield to the most expensive parts of Chicago (Streeterville, River North, Old Town) there’s a big difference in everything. But most people in Chicago don’t live in those areas. A more accurate comparison includes areas that are similar to Springfield (have older housing stock). Look at East Garfield Park and Evergreen Park, areas that are similar or cheaper than Springfield.

    Outside of the most expensive neighborhoods, groceries and other services cost the same as Springfield. If you compare new construction in Springfield (new 4 bed = $350k-$425k) to other areas around Chicago you’ll see that Springfield is about the same as Plainfield.


  40. - Union thug - Wednesday, Feb 13, 19 @ 12:45 pm:

    What places like the restaurant group miss is the chance to increase sales. Studies show over and over when people on the low end have money they spend it. Be it restaurants or whatever. Yes you too have to pay your workers more. More money in the consumers pocket usually gets spent. If people don’t have money they ain’t going to your place period.


  41. - Telly - Wednesday, Feb 13, 19 @ 12:52 pm:

    There are some legit arguments for regionalizing the minimum wage, but I’m not sure Loukinens’ and Obed and Isaac’s are the right businesses to put out front.

    Their prices are virtually the same as similar restaurants in my Chicago neighborhood. If they’re gonna charge Chicago-level prices, they can pay Chicago-level wages.


  42. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Feb 13, 19 @ 12:56 pm:

    “Dont harm my business for the sake of Chicago”
    The assumptions behind that statement are ridiculous. Id love to see how many of her patrons come from said city?


  43. - thechampaignlife - Wednesday, Feb 13, 19 @ 12:56 pm:

    If you wanted to regionalize it, it would be best to tie it to a tangible metric. For instance, you could use Census data to set it at a percentage of median household income (MHI) for the county. I would suggest adding a factor such as the poverty rate into the mix as well.

    MHI for the state is $61k and poverty is 12.6%. Multiply $61k by 0.022% and then by 112.6% gets you $15.17/hr.

    For a high income/low poverty county like DuPage, that math would yield a rate of $19.73 while a low income/high poverty county like Alexander would be $8.89. Cook would be $14.98 while a middle of the road county like Rock Island would be $12.77.


  44. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Feb 13, 19 @ 1:10 pm:

    Cost of living downstate is at least 25% less than in the Chicago Metro area. The minimum wage should be regional if we are going to have one.


  45. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Feb 13, 19 @ 1:25 pm:

    Does this mean we no longer have to tip?


  46. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Feb 13, 19 @ 1:28 pm:

    –Thank you to Odeb and Isaacs for not being afraid to speak out against this attack on business and workers.-=-

    Yes, it takes such courage to say you don’t want to pay someone more.

    I’m pretty sure workers can speak for themselves on the subject.


  47. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Feb 13, 19 @ 1:31 pm:

    –I know many employers who have prided themselves on paying “more” than the minimum. –

    Why is “more” in quotes? What is that supposed to communicate?

    If someone is paying more than than minimum, what’s the concern? It wouldn’t go up to $9.25 for nearly a year.

    –To pay more than $15 would make that a hard place to get to.–

    So is 2025, as it’s six years from now.


  48. - Montrose - Wednesday, Feb 13, 19 @ 1:41 pm:

    “Does this mean we no longer have to tip?”

    Oh no. The ILRA is backing this because they kept the wage/tip split in the bill. The tipping system is very much still intact.


  49. - A guy - Wednesday, Feb 13, 19 @ 1:42 pm:

    ==What is that supposed to communicate?==

    It communicates that they’re willing to do more than the “minimum”.
    Criticize all you like, but this will definitely cost some jobs and some businesses. There will be fewer entry level jobs, which in many cases is among the best places to learn about business. I’d love to see a student (and potentially senior) rate to accommodate more learning jobs and more jobs that allow seniors to pick up a light hustle where they remain active and involved, but don’t necessarily need to make a lot of money. They’re getting something else, even more important in many cases, from being out there. Work installs a wonderful sense of purpose in addition to wages.


  50. - Annonin' - Wednesday, Feb 13, 19 @ 1:48 pm:

    Show of hands. How many other private conversations is Ms Loukedins sharin’ with the media. Seems a little sleasey to us


  51. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Feb 13, 19 @ 1:59 pm:

    It’s a dollar a year raise, so “job creators” can tone down the freaking out.

    The national debt is now over $22 trillion, spurred in part by the massive tax giveaways to the richest.

    I was advised to not eat at Obed/Isaac’s because I was told the owner(s) supported Rauner. Now for sure I won’t go back there.


  52. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Feb 13, 19 @ 2:03 pm:

    ===It’s a dollar a year raise===

    Not quite.

    1/1/19: $1
    7/1/19: 0.75
    1/1/20: $1


  53. - Give Me A Break - Wednesday, Feb 13, 19 @ 2:04 pm:

    As a Springfield resident, both of these owners make me sick.

    They love them some session money, love those Chicago lobbyist, GA members and staffers spending their money at their places, but believe me, they have nothing but the usual anti-Chicago talking points to spout when the GA is not in session.


  54. - My New Handle - Wednesday, Feb 13, 19 @ 2:06 pm:

    There are “illegal aliens” who would and do work for much less than minimum wage.


  55. - On the other hand - Wednesday, Feb 13, 19 @ 2:08 pm:

    This issue is a tough one to swallow downstate. I support an increase in minimum wage and a living wage, but the pace of the increase and % jump for downstate small businesses is going to be a true struggle, especially for businesses with 10 and fewer employees.

    Chicago’s hourly wage will already be at $13 starting in July meaning they have to go up $2 by 2025 while everywhere else is looking at a $6.75 increase over the same timeframe (correct me if I’m wrong). My spouse owns a small business, prides herself in paying all staff over minimum wage, but doing so allows her to take home less than $13/hr. as the owner. With her being in somewhat of a niche industry, the increased paychecks of workers in general isn’t going to correlate to more sales revenue coming in the door. I wish there was a more balanced option than this accelerated, across the board approach that seems destined to be signed within weeks.


  56. - MakePoliticsCoolAgain - Wednesday, Feb 13, 19 @ 2:12 pm:

    =“If I increase minimum wage at $15 an hour, then I have to increase supervisor pay, then I have to increase manager pay, then I have to match all the payroll taxes that go with that and all the property taxes that go with that,” Laurie Loukinen said.=

    Ummmm…. there are already droves of us in the sandbox that choose NOT to patronize Loukinens’ - treatment of guests at 9:59 p.m. being one of the innumerable reasons. I hope her statement makes others think twice before dining there again.


  57. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Wednesday, Feb 13, 19 @ 2:24 pm:

    Wow, what was Ms. Karen Conn wearing, St. John, or Chanel? Nice to know she needed TIF money to start her coffee shop.


  58. - JB13 - Wednesday, Feb 13, 19 @ 2:58 pm:

    One thing, as true as death and taxes: Everyone always can spend your money better than you.


  59. - Deadbeat Conservative - Wednesday, Feb 13, 19 @ 3:04 pm:

    =This one’s going to be hard a good number of businesses. Some will close. The margin just isn’t there.=

    In your fantasy future you forgot to include the “prices will be frozen so the extra cost will be absorbed totally by the business.


  60. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Wednesday, Feb 13, 19 @ 3:09 pm:

    ==Criticize all you like, but this will definitely cost some jobs and some businesses. ==

    guy, I don’t think anyone disputes that this is the case. It will likely cost some positions, and may cause some businesses to close entirely. The policy debate is (at least in my view) whether or not raising the wage of all workers at the low end of the pay scale is more important than partially subsidizing the operating costs of those businesses in order to keep them open. Others may disagree but as a matter of principle, I’d personally rather pay a little more at the restaurant or movie theatre or water park or wherever than pay the government to provide the public benefits that these workers currently receive.


  61. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Feb 13, 19 @ 3:56 pm:

    It’s already starting to get too expensive to go out to eat.
    Most places are charging 2bucks for a glass of tea. Add in the increasing taxes. Now add the expected tip. Which used to be 10% now is 22%. That’s a percentage of the bill. If restaurants increase cost of food. Taxes go up and tip go up.


  62. - Klaus VonBulow - Wednesday, Feb 13, 19 @ 3:58 pm:

    The Conn’s have received hundreds of thousands of dollars in financial incentives from the City of Springfield property owners. It’s too bad they don’t want to share it with their hard working employees.


  63. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Feb 13, 19 @ 3:59 pm:

    Guy, you’ve obviously put a great deal of deep thought into this issue.

    After nine years with no bump at all, is there any increase in the minimum wage over any length of time that you and ILGOP types would support?

    If so, clear your throat and spit it out. If not, your input has been considered and given all the weight it is due.


  64. - Truthseeker - Wednesday, Feb 13, 19 @ 4:00 pm:

    Turns out, the Dems having few trending towards no Downstate seats comes with a significant price . . . . .the Speaker no longer has to even pretend he cares about the hillbillies. No regional approach even though it crushes Downstate . . . .who cares?


  65. - Nick Name - Wednesday, Feb 13, 19 @ 4:11 pm:

    ===(Never been to the joint; is everyone there as much fun as her, all the time?).===

    The servers are hard-working and courteous. Never a complaint about them. I feel sorry for them for having to put up with the Conns.

    The beer is very good and the food is above average. The scotch eggs are delicious.


  66. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Feb 13, 19 @ 4:18 pm:

    –“Governor Pritzker is misleading the people of Illinois about his minimum wage plan by falsely claiming it’s the product of compromise and Republican input, even though no Republicans support it.–

    Don’t hide your light under a bushel, DeGroot, please set the record straight and tell the public what your input was.

    What was the ILGOP proposal regarding the minimum wage? Please be specific.

    Time’s a wasting. People want to know.


  67. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Feb 13, 19 @ 4:26 pm:

    If you’re looking for less jobs and fewer hours worked downstate, this will be a great thing.


  68. - Cornfed - Wednesday, Feb 13, 19 @ 4:28 pm:

    If anything is to be learned from this place, it’s never get in the way of a liberal trying to feel good about themselves.


  69. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Feb 13, 19 @ 4:29 pm:

    ===“…Pritzker pledged to listen to Republicans and compromise, but it turns out those were just empty, meaningless words.” - Illinois Republican Party Spokesman Aaron DeGroot===

    (Sigh)

    The governor has 60 and 30 “plus” in his pocket.

    If the GOP has something to add that wouldn’t upend the majorities, that would be “considered” I’m sure but “we don’t like it” isn’t gonna fly as compromise.

    Do better ILGOP. This is borderline pathetic and reminds us all the irrelevancy might not be… accidental.


  70. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Feb 13, 19 @ 4:35 pm:

    I guess the Lounekins doesn’t care if the Governor or anyone in his administration spends money in their restaurant again. What a dumb move, she’s cost herself more with her confusing public statements than a gradualminimum wage hike will cost.


  71. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Feb 13, 19 @ 5:01 pm:

    –If anything is to be learned from this place, it’s never get in the way of a liberal trying to feel good about themselves.–

    I think it’s terrific that you’ve learned the lines from your shows on the TV and radio boxes. It must be like being a kid again, playing pretend down in the basement.


  72. - Enviro - Wednesday, Feb 13, 19 @ 5:30 pm:

    Raise the minimum wage and increase the prices to cover the margin of profit. This is the fair thing to do for workers and businesses.


  73. - Back to the Mountains - Wednesday, Feb 13, 19 @ 7:05 pm:

    Ah, yes. I remember that line from Churchill’s speech well.

    We shall fight against raising the minimum wage on the beaches, we shall fight against raising the minimum wage on the landing grounds, we shall fight against raising the minimum wage in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight against raising the minimum wage in the hills; we shall never surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, our employees were subjugated and starving, we would carry on the struggle. . . .


  74. - Lord Voldemort - Wednesday, Feb 13, 19 @ 8:08 pm:

    “A regionalized minimum wage would literally codify the alleged Chicago advantage that Downstaters so often complain about.”

    I have to disagree with that. Lower cost of living is neither an advantage nor a disadvantage, it’s simply a fact of life — a fact of life that the General Assembly is running over in a fit of progressive zeal.

    There’s no advantage in being paid more if cost of living eats up the difference, and no disadvantage to lower wages if rent, food, etc., all cost less. It’s not just about who has the most little green pieces of paper. What you can buy with them has to factor in too.

    This $15 minimum wage might be bearable in Chicago, but it is being pushed on downstate where costs and wages have historically been lower. That’s the GA’s prerogative I guess — there’s nothing in the state Constitution that says legislators have to take local conditions into account — but downstate workers will be especially at risk of being frozen out of the labor market.


  75. - Pundent - Wednesday, Feb 13, 19 @ 8:31 pm:

    =but downstate workers will be especially at risk of being frozen out of the labor market.=

    Did you ever stop and think of the economic benefits of those same downstate workers having a few bucks in their pockets that they can put back into the local economy?. That is after all one of the objectives of raising the minimum wage.


  76. - lost in the weeds - Wednesday, Feb 13, 19 @ 8:36 pm:

    $8.25/hr at 40 hrs per week for 50 weeks per year is

    $16,500 per year.

    That $16,500 will barely pay for good health insurance for two people.

    That is exceedingly low pay. Yeah the waiters and waitresses will get tips. Still not much for a job that involves actual work serving people for 40 hours a week. Cooks and dishwashers are not going to see those tips.

    I see the older rich people cannot decide how much to pay the poor.

    People that can afford to eat at the restaurants can afford to pay more or prepare their own food.

    I do not have sympathy for the restaurant owners, except maybe the restaurant association should have done better talking to its members.


  77. - Anon - Wednesday, Feb 13, 19 @ 9:18 pm:

    The Obed & Isaac owners have previously complained about having to pay prevailing wages during renovation because they received public funding assistance for the project. https://illinoistimes.com/article-13267-over-regulation.html


  78. - Blue Dog Dem - Wednesday, Feb 13, 19 @ 9:40 pm:

    Governors own. JB. And JB alone owns this increase in the min wage. History will be its judge.


  79. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Feb 13, 19 @ 10:38 pm:

    “If anything is to be learned from this place, it’s never get in the way of a liberal trying to feel good about themselves.”

    Madigan’s statements on this bill give great optimism that it will be enacted soon. If liberals can notch a win on marijuana legalization this GA session plus a minimum wage hike, that would be something to feel real good about.


  80. - Vermilion County Progressive - Thursday, Feb 14, 19 @ 3:27 am:

    Here in Vermilion County, there are a lot of people who would greatly benefit from a $15/hour minimum wage. Remember that a lot of the restaurants in Vermilion County are fast food or otherwise low-end restaurants. Sure the business owners and franchisees around here will complain loudly about having to pay their workers more, but it’ll mean more money that their workers will be able to contribute to the economy.


  81. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Thursday, Feb 14, 19 @ 6:41 am:

    ==Lower cost of living is neither an advantage nor a disadvantage, it’s simply a fact of life.==

    Is it a “fact?”
    Except for a little bit lower housing costs, does a truck cost less, does gasoline cost less, a refrigerator, or food?


  82. - Perrid - Thursday, Feb 14, 19 @ 8:19 am:

    Da Big Bad Wolf, while I am skeptical that Chicago is $8,000 dollars a year more expensive ($4 a hour times 2000 hours), gasoline and food (restaurants at least) do cost more in the city of Chicago than downstate.


  83. - Rabid - Thursday, Feb 14, 19 @ 8:23 am:

    GOP donations going into the pocket of the poor, payback from afscme


  84. - Anonymous - Thursday, Feb 14, 19 @ 8:33 am:

    ==Governors own. JB. And JB alone owns this increase in the min wage. History will be its judge.===

    Hey BDD, I agree, but not the way you intended. This is a Dem win for the people.


  85. - Anonymous - Thursday, Feb 14, 19 @ 10:12 am:

    Rich, how mad are downstate tradesmen about the regionalized approach of prevailing wage statutes?


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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