Competing Visions Now In Place: A Permanent Low-Wage Economy or a Fairer Illinois?
CHICAGO-Following is the statement of SEIU Healthcare Illinois President Greg Kelley following Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of Senate Bill 81, legislation to raise the minimum wage in Illinois to $15 by 2022.
“Bruce Rauner’s veto of a $15 minimum wage for Illinois sets the stage for 2018. More than 2.3 million Illinois workers would have benefited from Senate Bill 81, which was carefully considered and vetted by business groups, workers and economists before its passage by the General Assembly.
“Knowing this was wrong for Illinois he waited to the last minute and, with this veto, Gov. Rauner showed us once again who he is and what his vision is for Illinois: A permanent low-wage economy, where services and infrastructure are slashed, where workers are deprived of dignity and rights and where corporations call all the shots.
“In supporting the $15 wage bill, we understood that raising the wage isn’t a threat to jobs. In fact, it would have immediately provided a BOOST to the Illinois economy. It would have stopped the subsidy of corporations who don’t pay a living wage. It would have slowed population flight by making Illinois a wage oasis. And it would have helped MILLIONS of Illinoisans get a fair shot at entry into the Middle Class.
“The Illinois minimum wage has remained at $8.25 since 2010. This is not even CLOSE to enough to get by and the terrible effects are falling disproportionately on women and people of color.
“The time for a raise to is now. If Gov. Rauner won’t allow this to happen in Illinois, we will join with workers across this state to elect someone next November who will.”