Rep. McCombie reacts to Pritzker’s $15 minimum wage bill

SPRINGFIELD….State Representative Tony McCombie (IL-71st) released the following statement after the minimum wage proposal, SB1, passed the General Assembly:  

“I believe Senate Bill 1 will not only be ineffective – but detrimental – to the very people it is intended to help. My colleagues in the 101st General Assembly need to work together and govern.  Today neither of those things happened.  We need to address our income inequality with regional input and consideration,” said Rep McCombie. “We should be investing these dollars to bridge the gap that would lift people up and out of the entry-level positions. The majority passed a partisan non-negotiated spending bill that is by far the largest unfunded mandate on small businesses and communities in the Nation.”   

The $15 minimum wage will be detrimental to not only area businesses, but non-profits, government entities, and taxpayers:  

  • According to the Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce, 82% of the members oppose raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, and 86% of members believe raising the minimum wage would have a negative impact on their business;
  • Local non-profits have reached out saying they would have to shut down or greatly reduce services;
    • Non-profits do not benefit from the tax credit either;
  • Schools and local governments have reached out to say summer jobs would be the first cuts – hurting students looking for summer work, and low skilled workers looking to break into the workforce;
  • In 2025, the budgetary costs will increase to $1.1 billion in direct wages, annually;
  • Nursing homes will need to have an increase of $1.5 billion in Medicaid reimbursement costs;
  • The State University System estimates over $100 million in increased costs annually – something neither the state, universities, or students can afford: 
    • Western Illinois University: $4.4 million
    • Augustana College: $2.6 million
  • The Community College system would see similar budgetary impacts:
    • Black Hawk College: approximately $2.5Mil over the 6 years, with a recurring cost of $750,000 per year thereafter. 
    • Highland Community College: $400,000

“The Governor’s Office estimates the cost to fully implement a $15 minimum wage at more than a BILLION dollars. A billion dollar cost estimate which leaves out the massive costs to our local businesses, our hospitals & nursing homes, our schools, our municipalities, our park districts, our most vulnerable and our seniors,” said Rep. McCombie. “We cannot afford this as a state, and our communities cannot afford to pay for another unfunded mandate either.”  

Under Senate Bill 1, the minimum wage will increase from $8.25 per hour to $15 per hour over the next 5 years. The Speaker will send SB1 to Governor JB Pritzker’s desk, and he has promised to quickly to sign it into law.  

Gov. Pritzker is scheduled to give his annual budget address next week on Wednesday, February 20th.