Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Tribune: Quinn minimum wage hike could be tough sell

Via NBC Chicago
Raising the minimum wage is certainly a well-meaning policy goal and taking this text from today's state of the state address this is where it comes from:
Our businesses are only as good as the employees who drive their success.

Nobody in Illinois should work 40 hours a week and live in poverty. That’s a principle as old as the Bible.

That’s why, over the next 4 years, we must raise the minimum wage to at least $10 an hour.

Senator Kimberly Lightford, you are doing the right thing with your mission to raise the minimum wage.

And as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, it’s always the right time to do the right thing.
It sounds great, but this is still a tough economy. You raise minimum wage to $10/hour then what happened next? Employers could elect to cut hours so instead of minimum wage workers doing at least 40hrs it could get cut down to 30 or less. Perhaps the work week for such workers could be reduced from 5 days to 4 days. What I'm getting at is unintended consequences.

At least the question is put up in front of Gov. Quinn right now. Besides is this about boosting the prospects of low-wage workers or boosting Pat Quinn's abysmal approval ratings as we head into 2014 a gubernatorial election year:
But beyond the finances, Quinn may hope a populist pocketbook issue can boost his own low approval ratings as he prepares to fight potentially big-name Democratic challengers like Attorney General Lisa Madigan and Bill Daley, the former white House chief of staff and a high-profile heir to the Daley family legacy.

Quinn called for a minimum-wage hike during the 2010 governor’s race, while Republican challenger Sen. Bill Brady opposed it.

Following Quinn’s speech on Wednesday, Brady said he wanted to review Quinn’s plan when there details are rolled out.

Hinsdale Republican Sen. Kirk Dillard, who like Brady is eyeing Quinn’s job, said he does not support the minimum wage hike. “We need to create better jobs, not minimum wage jobs, for those who are trying to raise a family,” Dillard said.

The chief sponsor of the minimum wage increase is Sen. Kimberly Lightford, the Maywood Democrat on Cullerton’s leadership team. She has sought to negotiate with foes and backers of the legislation for eight months. She said she wants to roll out a bill in the next few weeks.
Well, time will tell if this will prove to be beneficial or not. Time will only tell if this will help Pat Quinn if he seeks another term as Governor of Illinois. Will this help the prospect of this state being able to attract more jobs?

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