On February 7, a costly 15 dollar minimum wage increase to be phased in over the next 6 years was passed out of the Senate.
State Senator Dale Fowler (R-Harrisburg), who voted against the measure, issued the following statement in opposition to the increase:
While I can recognize efforts to provide more for the wage earners of this state, I cannot support a measure that has the potential for widespread harm to the business sector of Southern Illinois, said Senator Fowler. Ive heard from several employers across the region and the response has been, overwhelmingly, against this increase. Highlighting the raise in annual labor costs, the anticipated layoffs and the increase in cost of living for our residents, the reality is Senate Bill 0001 is shortsighted and only adds to the already high-costs of doing business in Illinois.
Senate Bill 0001 passed out of the Senate by a vote of 39 to 18 and will now advance to the House for further consideration.