Windhorst: Minimum wage hike will devastate southern Illinois
State Rep. Patrick Windhorst (R- Metropolis) argues the rationale offered by lawmakers in Springfield for raising the minimum wage stems from flawed reasoning.
“Democrats talk about how their focus was centered on increasing the living wage to help those that are most in need,” Windhorst told the Southern Illinois News. “The truth is the minimum wage is designed for an entry-level job, followed by people moving to a better, higher-paying job as they get the experience. With this, we’re pricing younger workers out of the job market because they’ll never be able to get the first-job experience they need.”
Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed off on legislation this week that raises the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by the year 2025. The raises are set to come in increments with the rate rising from $8.25 an hour to $9.25 by Jan. 1 2020, followed by a spike to $10 by July 1. From that point, annual raises of $1will continue until 2025.
Some downstate lawmakers such as Windhorst fought long and hard to keep the increases from applying statewide.
“I voted against this because it is to the detriment of small-business owners across the state,” he said. “With policy being what it is in the surrounding states of places like Kentucky, Missouri and Indiana, it’s already tough enough for them to survive. This is just another kick in the teeth.”
Illinois is now poised to become one of the first states in the country to enforce a $15-per-hour mandate, and Windhorst argues the impact will be undeniable.
“This will have negative effects on employment rates across the state, especially in places like southern Illinois,” he said. “Businesses will have to hire less, cut hours and raise prices.”