Rantoul… Rep. Mike Marron (R- Fithian) today voted NO on the mandated minimum wage increase from $8.25 to $15 an hour over the next six years. Senate Bill 1 passed along partisan lines in the House and Senate this week.
“Although we all want higher wages and a better life for workers, this process is being rushed in a haphazard way for strictly political purposes” said Rep. Marron. “We have not taken the time to fully assess exactly what the negative impacts will be for businesses, local governments, schools, and not for profits.” Marron continued, “The one size fits all approach will have serious implications and hit several areas of the state much harder than others.”
Rep. Marron points out that this will have drastic implications for all of our border towns across the state. “This is especially true for my district that sits on the Indiana border with their $7.25 an hour minimum wage,” said Rep. Marron. “My district is a prime example of possible outmigration where major employers can relocate just a few miles down the road into Indiana and still access to all the great transportation infrastructure and educational institutions that give the region an advantage, but enjoy better workers comp rate, lower taxes, and less regulation that a more business forward state provides,” added Rep. Marron.
Long before our current budget failures and the $15 minimum wage was being discussed, Rep Marron continued “businesses in my largest community intimated that they could move a few miles down the road, just across the state line and pay for brand new facilities with the disparity in the cost of doing business between Illinois and Indiana.” Two-thirds of Illinois’ population lives within a 40-minute drive of the state border. Some companies have chosen to stay put out of shear loyalty and love for the State of Illinois. “The increased cost of that loyalty will have business owner’s reassessing how long they can pay that price,” said Marron.
“This move will also affect not for profits who service the most vulnerable among us and it will impact educational services,” added Marron. “I don’t question the majority’s sincere motives for trying to better the lives of workers around the state, but good intentions and bad results don’t help anyone,” continued Marron. “We aren’t helping the man or woman currently making $10 an hour if next year at this time they are unemployed and someone in Indiana is making $7.25 an hour doing the job they used to have,” concluded Marron.
The Pritzker Administration estimates the cost to the State to fully implement a $15 minimum wage at more than a BILLION dollars. Their estimates are less than the estimated cost increases for nursing homes alone. The billion-dollar cost estimate also leaves out the massive costs to K-12 schools, higher education, municipalities, park districts, etc. All of these costs will be passed along to Illinois taxpayers. “This process should be slowed down, and we need to reevaluate the implications of what we are doing here today,” said Marron. Let’s take the time to get this right.