From Illinois News Network
The Illinois Senate will be meeting in a Committee of the Whole Tuesday focusing on a couple of different pieces of legislation that would impact Illinois businesses including a minimum wage increase.
Jim Stahel, a longtime financial planner and an advocate for increasing the minimum wage, says it’s far beyond time for the wage to be increased.
“We need to help with the lower rung of the ladder of employment and individuals that are struggle at making a living”
But National Federation of Independent Businesses Illinois Director Kim Maisch says that Illinois would be ill advised to raise the minimum wage higher than surrounding states.
“We believe that we are already at an competitive disadvantage when it comes to the minimum wage and if we were to follow suit or to do what some of the members of the Illinois Legislature would like to do which would raise our minimum wage to $11 an hour we certainly think that would further hurt not only the economy but certainly it would hurt employers in the state”
However, Stahel says that each state’s economy is different and the minimum wage should be high enough to ensure people want to work rather than get on government assistance.
Tax breaks for small businesses included in minimum wage measures
With a looming budget deadline and no deal in place Senators in a Committee of the Whole Tuesday will hear about several measures to boost Illinois’ minimum wage up to $11 an hour by 2019. One bill would also give a carve out for tax breaks to businesses with fewer than 50 employees, but NFIB’s Kim Maisch says all of the particulars have not yet been worked out.
“If this were to become law I’m sure some would try to take advantage of that but my understanding is they haven’t even been able to get a fiscal cost to the tax credit because the Department of Revenue is still trying to understand how it would even work. So it sounds good in a press release, but I’m just not sure how practical it will be for many of these small business owners.”
A measure that would require all employees to receive earned sick time as a condition of employment, even part time workers, is on the docket for this week as well.