Skillicorn cautions that minimum-wage raise poses risk for low-skilled workers
Republican state Rep. Allen Skillicorn (R-East Dundee) wants everyone to see the big picture in Illinois’ bubbling minimum-wage debate
“Lots of talk of tax credits for employers, but what about the employees that are displaced because of the higher wages,” Skillicorn asked in a statement. “Low-skill workers will become unemployable if we price them out of the market.”
Led by Senate Majority Leader Kimberly Lightford (D-Maywood), state democrats have quickly moved at the start of the new session in Springfield to jumpstart a bill that would raise the state’s minimum wage from $8.25 to $9.25 per hour on Jan. 1, and to $15 per hour by 2025.
The bill has the complete backing of new Governor J.B. Pritzker, who made the issue a staple of his campaign platform and is now rumored to be hoping to sign such legislation into law by his first official budget address scheduled for Feb. 20. According to the Chicago Tribune, the bill calls for a $1 hourly pay raise at the start of 2020, followed by a 75-cent increase six months later, and additional $1 hourly increases each year on Jan. 1 until the rate hits $15 by the year 2025.
The bill proposed by Lightford would also institute a tax credit designed to aide employers with 50 or fewer full-time employees and offset some of the cost associated with such steep wage increases. Employers would be eligible to claim a tax credit for 25 percent of the cost in 2020 with further annual adjustments.
In addition, employers would be able to continue paying lesser wages to workers under 18 that don’t exceed 650 hours in a year.