Batinick Opposes Minimum Wage Increase for Illinois

SPRINGFIELD…A proposal to increase the minimum wage rate in Illinois passed yesterday in the House of Representatives. The bill, SB1, would increase the current rate of minimum wage from $8.25 an hour to $15 an hour statewide, and would be gradually enacted over the next six years.During the debate, State Representative Mark Batinick (R-Plainfield) heavily opposed the measure. Representative Batinick questioned the impact and long term effects of the proposal, yet neither concern could be answered by the bill’s sponsor.

“No studies have been done on the long term effects of dramatic increases in minimum wage,” said Representative Batinick. “We are in unchartered territory, and for a state like Illinois, where we have so many existing challenges impeding our financial success, doing something unprecedented is simply bad policy.”

Representative Batinick’s concern with the proposal involves the unknown effects the increase will have on businesses statewide, including those in southern Illinois who will experience an 82% increase in wages.

“We cannot predict how this will affect our state. What we do have is an example in the City of Chicago, where the effects of their minimum wage increase from 2014 are coming to light. Their population is declining and businesses are leaving the city for lower costs in the suburbs—or other states. Those are facts. Something that so clearly has not been successful in one city is now going to be amplified in our entire state. This is absurd and will put any businesses who are already struggling in serious trouble.”

Despite the many oppositions voiced today, SB1 ultimately passed and will move forward to Governor JB Pritzker for final approval.