Mark Grant, state director of the National Federation of Independent Business, released the following statement this evening in response to Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of legislation that would have raised the state minimum wage to $15 an hour over five years:
“This isn’t about helping the economy or working families. This is about partisan politics, plain and simple.
“Raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour would hurt the very people lawmakers say they’re trying to help. Small businesses will bear the brunt of the cost, and their employees will pay the price in the form of fewer jobs and fewer opportunities.
“According to the NFIB Research Center, raising the state minimum wage to $15 an hour will result in 93,000 fewer jobs across the state and reduce Illinois’ real output by over $56 billion over the next 10 years.
“If the government dictates an increase in the cost of labor, employers have two options. They can raise prices, or they can try to get by with fewer workers. If you can’t afford as many workers, you’re going to be very careful about the workers you do hire. You’re going to want employees you know can do the job. You can’t afford to take a risk on people with little or no experience.
“This legislation does include a tax credit for employers, ostensibly to help offset higher labor costs, but it’s just a bit of misdirection. The bill comes with so many hoops that few small businesses could afford the time and effort to jump through them, and, even if they did, the credits wouldn’t come close to making up for a nearly 82 percent increase in the state minimum wage.
“We applaud Governor Rauner for vetoing the bill and are asking the Legislature to let it stand.”