The Illinois Director of the National Federation of Independent Businesses, Mark Grant, released the following statement regarding the legislation in Springfield that will raise the minimum wage from $8.25 to $15 by 2022 (SB 81).
Mark Grant stated, “Today’s vote was about partisan politics, not addressing the real problems facing Illinois’ working families and small businesses. SB 81 is bad legislation that’s going to 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 job across the state and reduce Illinois’ real output by over $56 billion over the next ten 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. SB 18 does include a tax credit for employers, ostensibly to help offset higher labor costs, but it’s just a bit of misdirection. SB 81 comes with so many hoops that few small businesses can 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 state minimum wage. Our members want to thank the legislators who voted against SB 81. We’re urging Governor Rauner to veto this partisan bill and hoping that the legislature will finally stop playing games and start working with the governor to pass a budget and find ways Illinois can attract-and keep- good paying jobs”.