By Paul Gorski
Illinois voters are being asked this November: “Shall the minimum wage in Illinois for adults over the age of 18 be raised to $10 per hour by January 1, 2015?” This is an advisory, non-binding ballot question. Illinois’ minimum wage is currently $8.25 per hour. It is a survey question.
One of the few stipulations on my article content is that I do not endorse candidates or ballot measures. That honor is left to the publisher of The Rock River Times. I do ask that you think hard and long about this ballot question. I believe this advisory question is important and will encourage many people to vote.
Some people feel that raising the minimum wage will hurt local business. However, Hobby Lobby, while receiving press coverage regarding a successful challenge to the Affordable Health Care Act, has not received much press coverage of the company’s $14.50 per hour minimum wage for full-time employees and $9.50 minimum wage for part-time employees. Hobby Lobby is a large chain and is building new stores this year and next. As it grows, Hobby Lobby management feels it is important to pay its employees a decent wage. In fact, Hobby Lobby has regularly raised the wages of employees over the past few years.
While some voters may not like Hobby Lobby because it successfully challenged certain provisions of the Affordable Health Care Act, you might cut the company some slack for paying employees a better starting wage than most chain stores.
For those readers who thought Hobby Lobby’s recent court challenge was a well-deserved victory, you might then consider supporting our minimum wage advisory measure because it shows respect for employees.
Again, I am not telling you how to vote. Simply give the minimum wage issue some thought before you vote this fall.
Paul Gorski (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a Cherry Valley Township resident who also authors the Tech-Friendly column seen in this newspaper.
Posted Sept. 30, 2014