Illinois State Senator Dale Righter (R-Mattoon) announced on Thursday that he opposes legislation which could increase the state’s minimum wage to $15.
The Illinois State Senate, with a Democratic majority, passed a $15 minimum wage to be phased in over six years.
“This legislation only adds to the burdens placed on Illinois’ employers, backing them into a corner, raising costs for consumers and posing a threat to our business sector. Just consider the harm this will have on colleges and universities. We’re looking at millions of dollars being added to their overhead, potential decreases in enrollment and the elimination of student worker programs,” said Senator Righter. “Instead of focusing on pro-business, pro-growth reforms, we’re entertaining a political ploy filled with false promises and overlooks the unintended effects of a massive wage increase. This isn’t good business for our state and this isn’t a measure I will support.”
The Illinois Chamber of Commerce also announced its opposition in a press release:
“Increasing the minimum wage by 82 percent over the next five years would harm small businesses, kill jobs and eliminate opportunities for the workers who need them the most,” said President and CEO of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce Todd Maisch.
We recognize an increase may very well become law. However, regional market wages should be considered, along with additional options for seasonal and training wages and preemption of local governments further increasing the new wage. We hope legislators will work with the business community to implement practical solutions that mitigate the impact on small businesses.”
The Democratic Party of Illinois supports the legislation.