Minimum wage hike stymied
An effort to push through a statewide minimum wage increase was stymied this week after the City of Chicago voted to pass a $13 an hour hike in the city. Going into the fall veto session it seemed plausible the General Assembly could pass a statewide increase. However, the recent decision by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to push through a more generous minimum wage hike in Chicago undermined a statewide effort, as most Chicago-area lawmakers balked at supporting legislation that would cap the minimum wage at $11 an hour—which would now be a reduction of pay for employees living in Chicago legislative districts.
While a measure to increase the minimum wage passed the Senate on Dec. 3, the vote was considered moot since the House of Representatives had already adjourned for the week—with no plans to return and act on a minimum wage hike.
“I have said from the beginning, the General Assembly must not pass any controversial pieces of legislation until the new Governor and General Assembly are sworn in,” State Senator Dale Righter (R-Mattoon) said. “If we are going to increase the minimum wage, it must be coupled with reforms that will create more jobs and encourage broad based economic growth.”