Minimum wage hike bill passes House
The House voted to pass the minimum wage bill Thursday evening, meaning the bill has now cleared both the House and the Senate.
Senate Bill 1 passed the House with 69 yes votes and 45 no votes. One person voted present.
Rep. Will Guzzardi (D-Chicago) said the bill had been negotiated and deliberated over several years.
"This is a good bill," Guzzardi said. "It has been thoroughly vetted and thought out for two years now. This is one of the most important measures I will be a part of here and I am proud to support this."
Rep. David McSweeney (R-Cary) said the bill was well-intentioned but was not going to help people.
"The sponsor means well," McSweeney said. "But this is going to hurt people and reduce the number of jobs in the state. We're putting Illinois at a disadvantage."
Rep. Charles Meier (R-Highland) said small farms would be hurt the worst by the hike in minimum wage, as well as mom-and-pop stores.
"They won't survive an 82 percent increase in minimum wage," Meier said. "Agriculture has been a bright spot (in Illinois) and this bill will hurt (agriculture). It'll hurt southern Illinois."
Rep. Tom Demmer (R-Dixon) said the state cannot afford the kinds of commitments that the legislature is making.
"Let’s have real bipartisan negotiation and make a promise that is realistic for us to keep," Demmer said.
Rep. Anne Stava-Murray (D-Downers Grove) said she took a poll in her district about the minimum wage.
"There are those who should say that I should vote no, but I took a poll and we lean toward yes," Stava-Murray said.
Many businesses oppose the minimum wage hike. Earlier this week, Illinois Retail Merchants Association President Rob Karr held a press conference to let businesses share their stories about how they would be affected by the increase.
"Businesses come in all shapes and sizes," Karr said at the press conference. "I've been at this 25 years and I often beg retailers and employers to share their impacts. They're usually always hesitant. This speaks volumes that they're willing to be this transparent and come forward and share their stories."
Several businesses also spoke at the House Labor and Commerce Committee hearing Wednesday in opposition of the bill.