Ives wants Chicago as testing ground before raising minimum wage statewide
Rep. Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) asked Rep. Will Guzzardi (D-Chicago) to look north before pushing for a minimum wage hike statewide.
“Why not use Chicago, this huge economic engine for the state of Illinois [and] the one that can handle all the minimum wage increases -- why don’t we use it as a test market?” Ives said. “Why don’t we see how it is implemented there, and why don’t we check back in a couple of years when it is fully implemented and see what has happened to wages and growth at that point? Would you be willing to pull this bill and let’s see how Chicago works out?”
Chicago's $10.50 minimum wage will increase to $11 on July 1. SB81, presented by Guzzardi, would raise the minimum wage statewide to $15 an hour. The bill has faced much opposition, especially from Republicans and businesses, who fear the loss of jobs, hours, and businesses if it becomes law.
Guzzardi countered that the bill ensures that residents of the state earn a livable wage. People making $8 an hour can’t wait any longer, he said.
But Ives argued that the bill would exacerbate the job crisis in Illinois.
“This is a misguided bill,” Ives said. “You can look at the data from San Francisco, from Seattle, and from other places that have already imposed a minimum wage hike, and you will find that employees' hours have been cut, restaurants have closed over this, and that the employees are losing their jobs. This is not a solution at all. This is not something that we should mandate on businesses. His bill has huge problems … this is bad. This is a bad idea for people who need a start in life and need to actually get that first job where they can learn those skills to move on up the ladder.”
SB81 passed the House 61-53.
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