Is Illinois Minimum Wage Hike Dead on Arrival?

Date: June 13, 2017

When the Legislature adjourned on May 31, NFIB/IL joined with other state business groups in calling the 2017 spring session one of the worst for employers. In addition to adjourning without a budget for the third year in a row, the time in session was spent proposing measure after measure that would impose more taxes, regulation, and mandates upon the state’s job creators.

One of the most damaging is Senate Bill 81, which would increase the state’s minimum wage from $8.25 to $15 per hour by 2022. According to NFIB research, this move would cost the state 93,000 jobs and $56 billion in economic output over a 10-year period, with small businesses sustaining more than half of those job losses.

This bill resurfaced as session wound to a close—amid continued budget bickering—and was sent to Gov. Rauner, but it’s unclear whether he will sign it. While a minimum wage increase could be a bargaining chip for other reforms, during an appearance on Morning Shift just days after session adjourned, Rauner said he doesn’t support the legislation that would raise Illinois’ minimum wage to $15 per hour.

Meanwhile, budget negotiations head into overtime session this month, where a three-fifths majority will be needed for approval on any spending plans.

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