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McLean County Chamber Cheers Rauner's Minimum Wage Veto

Bruce Rauner speaks at event
G-Jun Yam
The Associated Press
Gov. Bruce Rauner at an event earlier this year.

The McLean County Chamber of Commerce is applauding Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of a bill that would have raised the state’s minimum wage to $15 per hour.

Rauner vetoed the bill (SB 81) on Friday, arguing that raising the minimum wage would reduce the number of jobs available. Under the proposal, the minimum wage would have been raised from $8.25 an hour to $15 by the year 2022.

“While the (McLean County) Chamber does not oppose a conversation on a commonsense minimum wage increase, we believe that legislating a minimum wage that is higher than our surrounding states is overreaching, and once again sends the message that Illinois is not good for business,” said John Walsh, government and public affairs manager for the McLean County Chamber of Commerce.

“If this legislation would have passed, it is certain that Illinois businesses would have had to raise prices to cover their higher labor costs, and it very likely that our small businesses would have had to cut jobs or hours to compensate their workers,” Walsh said. “This veto is a win for the McLean County Chamber of Commerce, its members, and the business community who communicated their concerns to our local elected representation in Springfield and directly to Governor Rauner.”

State Rep. Will Guzzardi, a Chicago Democrat, supported the plan. He said Rauner’s veto helps big business and not their employees.

Guzzardi said he’ll try to override Rauner’s veto. But that’s an uphill climb because it did not pass with enough votes to override.

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Ryan Denham is the digital content director for WGLT.
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