State Senator Donald P. DeWitte (R-St. Charles) released the below statement following the Senate vote on Senate Bill 1, which would increase Illinois minimum wage to $15 over the next six years.
The last time Illinois raised its minimum wage was in 2006, and by 2007 Illinois lost 50,000 jobs. When you raise the minimum wage, the first jobs to go are the vital entry-level ones, and the businesses most impacted are our small businesses.
The drastic wage increase proposed in this legislation will not only have far-reaching implications on our businesses across the board, but it will also increase costs for state agencies, local school districts, human service providers, hospitals and nursing homes. Its irresponsible not to take the time to truly look into these impacts.
In fact, according to the Governors own numbers, a $15 minimum wage will increase annual state payroll by $1.1 billion, which doesnt even include the costs that would be placed on State Universities. Additionally, nursing homes could see as much as $1.5 billion in increased Medicaid reimbursement costs, and our local school districts will have an even harder time making ends meet and will force those costs onto the residents who are already paying oppressive property taxes.
Its only appropriate that we come back to the negotiating table. By doing so, we can work to find a solution that is in the best interest of workers and the business, government and non-profit communities.