The Illinois Senate passed a rushed minimum wage bill that did not contain any job protections for border communities nor lower income regions, according to State Senator Paul Schimpf (R-Waterloo).
“We’ve already seen too many jobs move across the border to Missouri, due to the poor business climate here and increasing costs handed down by state government,” said Senator Schimpf. “We can’t afford to raise costs for our businesses any more unless we want to see more of them cross the river.”
The legislation would raise the minimum wage across Illinois to $15 over 6 years, without taking into account any regional cost differences. The increase could be especially harmful for retail businesses, especially those that are already forced to sell goods for higher prices than their counterparts nearby in Missouri.
In addition, a study from North Carolina State University noted that a major increase could be particularly harmful for agriculture. According to the study, even just a 10% increase in the minimum wage for agricultural workers would result in a long-run decline of 6.5% in agricultural productivity.
The legislation eventually passed on a party line vote, with no Democrats voting against and no Republicans voting in favor.
“I am disappointed in today's Illinois Senate vote to increase the minimum wage. This proposal will send job creators fleeing to neighboring states, place a tremendous budgetary strain on local institutions, and make it much more difficult for unskilled workers to find jobs,” said Senator Schimpf. “I urge my colleagues in the Illinois House to reject this rushed, one-size-fits-all proposal that will have negative consequences for our region.”