Any increase in the state’s minimum wage, even a gradual one, will not find support from the Illinois Chamber of Commerce. Chamber President Todd Maisch says the organization is opposed to both of the current efforts to raise the wage: a bill by State Sen. Kimberly Lightford (D-Maywood) to ramp it up to $11 per hour by 2019, and the governor’s more gradual climb to $10 by 2022. Maisch says if the governor’s proposal comes with his promised “pro-business reforms,” that at least softens the blow.
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“Now the governor’s made clear that he’s willing to consider and be a proponent under certain conditions. We don’t agree with that,” Maisch said, “but we certainly would recognize there are ways to make it less bad, especially if you put it in a package that has a lot of positive things that help the economy, then you overcome the fact that, frankly, a minimum wage increase is a job killer.”
If it’s a stand-alone bill, Maisch doesn’t think a minimum wage hike will pass in the General Assembly this session. The Lightford measure did pass the Senate on Thursday.