Jackson County GOP chair: Increasing minimum wage is a mistake
Chris Grissom argues the coordinated move by Democrats in Springfield to ram through a minimum wage increase was so rushed and shortsighted not even many of the people it purports to help are in tune with it.
“I talked to a woman who makes minimum wage and she was absolutely against it because she knows many of those jobs are starting jobs and not many small business employers can afford to pay that kind of money for that level of job,” Grissom, chairman of the Jackson County GOP, told the SW Illinois News. “She knows she might be gone with no great prospects for finding another job.”
Beyond that, Grissom said, the marketplace should always be left to set its own wages. By and large, Republicans have bemoaned the way they insist Democrats would not consider any other options or suggestions in voting to send Senate Bill 081 to Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s desk in time for him to sign off on it prior to delivering his first state budget address tomorrow.
The bill would raise the state’s minimum wage to $15 per hour from its current of $8.25 with the increases coming in increments over the next six years.
“It’s just part of the overall progressive agenda,” Grissom added. “Very little thought was given to how this will impact people. That’s why so many people who you thought would be for it are coming out against it.”
Grissom tells the story of another woman whom he talked to who earns minimum wage and was worried that such an increase in her pay would negatively affect the help she receives in medical assistance from the state.
“And then, there are all the high school kids who fear they will be processed out of a job entirely by all this,” said Grissom, adding that the timing for the legislation could not be coming at a more inopportune time.
“We have such a good economy and so many people are looking for workers,” he said. “Employers are already paying above minimum wage just to get good, dependable workers. There’s really just no good reason for this.”