Skip to comments.IL Senate committee votes to send minimum-wage hike to the floor
Posted on 05/16/2012 8:08:18 PM PDT by bkopto
A plan to raise Illinois minimum wage to more than $10 per hour passed a Senate committee Wednesday, despite protests from business owners who said it will harm their ability to stay afloat in a tough economy. Proponents of Senate Bill 1565 say a minimum-wage hike will put more money in workers pockets, thus enabling them to spend more money at Illinois businesses.
Illinois minimum wage now stands at $8.25. The measure would increase the wage by 50 cents a year until it matches the the inflation-adjusted equivalent of minimum wage in 1968, which was $1.60 per hour. The phased-in hikes would bring Illinois minimum wage to $10.55 in 2015, after which yearly cost-of-living increases would occur.
The Senate Executive Committee approved the proposal 9-5. The bill, sponsored by state Sen. Kimberly Lightford, D-Maywood, now goes to the Senate floor for a vote.
If the measure is enacted, Illinois could have the highest minimum wage in the country, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Washington state has the highest minimum wage, at $9.04 per hour.
Illinois last increased its minimum wage in 2010. Backers of the increase, including minimum-wage workers and a small business owner from Chicago, said they barely can support themselves and their families on the current minimum wage.
Lathan Cole, 29, of Springfield, said he has a bachelors degree in psychology and worked with disabled people at a nonprofit, until he was laid off two years ago during the states budget crisis. He now works in a diner for $8.25 an hour.
I cant pay my car payment, so my grandfather helps me with that. Sometimes I have to ask my grandmother for gas money, he said. I cant afford to go out to eat. Thats a leisure thing, and thats not my qualm. Its that I cant even meet my bare minimum. Its really hard.
Business owners, however, said the hike will cripple their ability to continue operating.
Doug Knight, owner of Knights Action Park, a water and recreation park here, hires about 200 teenagers and young adults to work at his business. He said he was forced to scale back his operating hours following the last minimum wage hike in 2010 because he could not stay profitable and had to cut costs.
If my expenses go up, I have to raise my prices, Knight, a third-generation businessman, said, noting that his business is tricky because families shop wisely when it comes to vacations, and he has regional competition in Missouri, Wisconsin and Indiana.
If I cant be profitable, I cant grow my business, Knight said.
State Sen. Kirk Dillard, R-Hinsdale, who said he has supported minimum wage hikes in the past, voted against the measure, saying, The timing here is terrible, economically.
Why not $25 an hour or $100 an hour?
For those who wish to focus attention on the progressive "tool" of minimum wage legislation, the writings of Dr. Hans Sennholz may be helpful. Sennholz died in 2007, but his credentials as an economic scholar, professor, writer, and educator qualify him as an authority on this subject and many more related topics. Review his record, and a short article here.
A much more comprehensive history of the subject, however, which includes Dr. Sennholz's research and conclusions on minimum wage considerations is available in his 1983 article here.
The article is entitled: "Minimum Wage: How political attempts to boost wages tend to harm those most apt to be unemployed." by Hans F. Sennholz - In The Freeman/Ideas on Liberty, May 1983, pp. 270-281
His concluding paragraph::
"But the most vociferous support of minimum wage legislation comes from the professional spokesmen of the poor. Some may actually welcome unemployment among minorities because it breeds other political and economic effects and, above all, creates a political power base for the minority champions. When jobs are scarce they are likely to be rationed and allocated according to government plans and programs. Rationing bestows benefits to political constituents and thus confers prestige and power to the program proponents.* O Some are also aware that unemployment tends to give rise to new demands for radical government intervention, for central control and planning, which may pave the way for an all-round political command system, called socialism. Mass unemployment, they are hoping, will lead voters to support their ultimate objective."
Remember, this was written in the Year 1983. Yet, the so-called "progressive" movement has succeeded in taking America hostage to its views, destroying our once-vibrant manufacturing industries, and along with it, the freedom and opportunity which youth and those most impacted by their self-serving vision have wrought upon this Republic.
If they want to raise minimum wage to 1968 inflation adjusted levels, they should reduce the size of the government to 1968 levels first
“Proponents of Senate Bill 1565 say a minimum-wage hike will put more money in workers pockets, thus enabling them to spend more money at Illinois businesses.”
These ignoramuses are actually allowed to vote??
Illinois - Doubling down on Fail
Sounds like that's above his pay grade.
Minimum wage laws hurt every working person because it drives prices up and raises the floor on wages essentially making what everyone is getting worth less than it was before.
The increased cost of living for the middle class is basically a redistribution of their income to less productive, less-skilled employees.
“If they want to raise minimum wage to 1968 inflation adjusted levels, they should reduce the size of the government to 1968 levels first”
Post of the year! Spot on!
In a way this is good. The states are actually being “laboratories of democracy”. Some are cutting back, some are raising taxes, the minimum wage, and every other metric they can get their little politician paws on.
We’ll be able to see who does well and who does badly.
Illinois, PLEASE DO THIS!
Wisconsin and Indiana thank you for all the new jobs that will flee the state.
What they AREN’T telling you is Illinois is doing this for the TAX MONEY INCREASE, in hopes of covering the huge state budget deficit.
Yes, and unemployment will go way up there resulting in the people blaming Obama, thus helping to vote him out of the White House.
This is just another payoff to unions because the union wage rate on federal projects is tied to the minimum wage. It has nothing to do with helping the poor average Joe.
People are so ignorant of basic economics that they do not realize that prices and wages have a basis in reality. The government fairies can’t wave their magic wands and suspend the laws of economics any more than they can the law of gravity. In both cases, there’s going to be a hard fall.