June 7, 2017
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Springfield, IL – The Illinois Senate passed a bill May 31 that would raise the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour in 2022, beginning with a raise to $9 on Jan. 1.
But Gov. Bruce Rauner indicated he would veto the increase, telling the Chicago Tribune on June 1 that it “would be crushing for our small businesses and crushing for job creation, and extreme,” accusing the legislature of “doing something that they know that the business community would be just apoplectic about” rather than making “a reasonable compromise.” The billionaire private-equity investor called for the state’s $8.25 minimum wage should be lower while running for governor in 2014, saying it should be cut to the national level of $7.25. He has since said he would approve an increase if it were coupled with business-friendly legislation such as changes to the state’s workers’ compensation rules. Meanwhile, 19-year-old McDonald’s worker Elizabeth Tawiah said the increase would “open a whole new gateway.” Still, she told the Tribune, $15 is “right at the floor,” she said, at best just barely enough to get an apartment of her own and go to college. Read more