Thursday, February 10, 2011

Minimum wage increase proposed

By Lauren N. Johnson

Workers earning minimum wage in Illinois could see an increase in their paychecks under a proposal to raise the state's minimum wage from the current $8.25 per hour to $10.65 per hour by 2014.

Senate Bill 1565
, sponsored by Sen. Kimberly Lightford, a Maywood Democrat, would also raise minimum wage to $10.65 for tipped workers – individuals who provide services, such as waitresses, car wash workers and nail salon employees. They currently receive $4.95 per hour.

“As we go forward, I want to make sure that minimum wage workers are not ignored and not forgotten,” said Lightford. “Their issues and rights need to be a part of the discussion. The bill will help to keep this important issue on the table as members of the General Assembly work to keep Illinois competitive and fair for business and for workers.”

Under the bill, the minimum wage would increase to $8.90 this year, $9.50 in 2012, $10.15 in 2013 and $10.65 in 2014.

“People who have to work for a living ought to make a living wage,” said Madeline Talbott, lead coordinator of Action Now, a grassroots coalition of Illinois community and labor organizations that advocates the rights of working families.

Talbot said 17 other states require employers to pay more than the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. She said that in a statewide poll conducted in January, 71 percent of Illinois voters in all regions of the state supported an increase to $10.50 by 2013. Kiley and Co., a Boston-based public polling and research firm, conducted the poll for Action Now.

In 2007, former Gov. Blagojevich signed into law a similar plan to increase wages for hourly workers over a period of three years, bringing the rate to $8.25 per hour last July. Darby Anderson, vice president of Addus Healthcare’s Home and Community Services, said since that increase in wages, the group has seen a 20 percent reduction in turnover of their employees – home aides who service elderly and disabled persons.

Members of the business community opposed to the increase said it would stop economic recovery in the state after the national recession. “Illinois policy makers must understand their actions, like significantly raising the minimum wage and imposing higher income taxes, do impact our economic viability,” Kim Clarke Maisch, Illinois state director of the National Federation of Independent Business, said in a written statement.

However, Ron Baiman, director of budget and policy analysis for the Center on Tax and Budget Accountability, said a wage increase would not cause Illinois businesses to flee the state because those that would be impacted by the increase serve local markets in retail and health care and cannot “pick up and leave.”

Rob Karr, senior vice president of government and member relations for the Illinois Retail Merchants Association, said an increase at this time would be a “recipe for disaster.” Karr said the proposed increase would be yet another blow to businesses, citing Illinois’ high workers’ compensation costs and the recent income tax increase.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

the minimum wage increase was great for my teenage son nad the new employees that i hired this year, but as i have held my job for over 5 years and there was no increase for me, i may as well had aa pay cut! when the min wage went up so fast, buisnesses had to up their prices to compensate, and so i was making less to buy the same things(food, rent, electric)raising minimum wage again, especially now, will hurt everyone! because if buisnesses up their prices again, and they will, the people making minimum wage will not be getting ahead!

Anonymous said...

Here is reality. I run a business with a payroll of $2.5 million. The bottom wage is $8.25. If the proposed increase goes through and my payroll can only stand a 3% per year increase then I have to cut $500,000 in jobs by 2014 or close.
Adjusting inflation to the original 1938 minimum of $.25 per hour brings it up to about $3.80 today. Thank God it is not adjusted to inflation and we can pay $8.25 plus. This increase would hurt plenty of people.

Anonymous said...

I don't know too much about economics,but I know enough to say "that the rich will get richer,and the poor,or lower class will get further in debt".Something needs to be done,and quickly.I heard it in a song where it stated"tell me why we call this a free country when it cost so much to live"!People say that the end of the world as we know it is drawing near!As for my opinion,I believe that to be true.No one will be able to afford the things that they want,or need so society will resort to whatever means to acquire their necessities in life !!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Reality?? I know it would suck for most employers but what about the employees??? i am a single mom and make $10 an hr, it is still very tight and hard to make it, even if i was single there is no way $8.25 an hr is going to pay ALL your household bills, let alone Insurance, food, Medical bills, gas, etc. So I definitely think it should be raised at least a little.

Nikhil Kumra said...

I love how some people are saying "What about me?" Or "What about the employees?" or "I can't live off of $8.25" -- If you're a grown man or woman, and you're earning only 8.25 per hour, or even $10. YOU'RE DOING SOMETHING SEVERELY ***WRONG*** IN YOUR LIFE!!!! Go back to school (even part time), learn a trade, get off your butt and change your situation, don't expect the world to change for you all of the time! Less payroll hrs availability = less jobs = less money FOR YOU!!!

Anonymous said...

Is easy to say but its hard to do?
If you go back to school. It will affect all your jobs. You know what I'm working almost three jobs.
Fulltime, Partime and weekend oncall.
Pay mortgage, one creditcard, and all basicbills at the house. foods, carinsurance, and cargas and etc.
five hours a day, have sleep. sometime i have no social-life
Thank you so much to all. I'm still survived. God Bless.

Anonymous said...

It doesn't matter how much they raise minimum wage. It only makes a difference for the first two weeks of the change. After the first two weeks, the businesses raise their prices to the point that increase in minimum wage didn't make the slightest difference.
Restaurants will raise the price of each of their meals by at least a dollar because of the rise in minimum wage. So where is the benefit to the minimum wage workers. You want this to make a differnce, convince businesses to not raise their prices every time minimum wage goes up, or it won't make a difference at all.

Anonymous said...

Minimum wage increase only hurts the middle class that have worked years for pay raises and then get taken right back down. Rich politicians just dont get it.

Anonymous said...

minimum wage must not increase because I am on top of the wage scale and only presently making $4 an hour more than minimum wage now!
They need to bump everybodies salary to keep up!!

Anonymous said...

You know I don't think it would hurt anyone to see some of the useless companies go out of business. What do you need to spend your money like that anyway, put it to a better use. Americans buy a lot of extra junk.

Anonymous said...

I work in the food industry at a small restaurant. When minimum wage goes up two things happen. Hours get cut and prices go up. It is a necessity. It is not so that the owner gets rich but so that he can stay open. Small businesses are barely scraping by and this will be a final nail in many coffins.

Anonymous said...

What a bunch of arrogant fools to think they can pass a law and create wealth! If it were possible the government would not be $16T in debt! Prices will go up and jobs will flee to other states and countries. The burger-flippers will still be at the bottom, there will just be fewer of them! If you want to earn more than you do as burger-flipper LEARN TO DO SOMETHING ELSE!

Anonymous said...

Some of us don't have rich family that can help us pay for our schooling ..and some time life.takes a different turn for us

Anonymous said...

Businesses complain about having to pay a living wage to their employees. Arrogant fools. Try to get along without us. YOU flip the burgers for a change and we'll start our OWN Burger Joint.

Anonymous said...

I am a very hard working man of 24 an i have grown up in lower middle class an i had no choice to go to collage i had to get a job an support my brother an my mom who was working two jobs to keep a roof over our heads.. an i work for a tree service.. an i still only make 9.50 an hr so some of us didnt grow up in a fancey rich family .. so dont tell me i should have gone to school an that im doing somthin wrong with my life !! i realy work for a living an am still helping my mom.. i have friends who have went to school that are now unemployed so dont tell me i did somthing wrong!! If our congress or polititions would take a cut 5% cut in pay our problems would be solved !! talk about over Paid...see if they want to switch me jobs an pay for a week!!! i bet they`ll want a rais!!! and at least i have a job an not on unemployment !!
THANK YOU