Republican Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner reversed an executive order by the previous governor that briefly required state vendors to pay their employees at least $10/hour. With Rauner’s new executive order, state vendors in Illinois can now get away with paying their employees only $8.25/hour, the current state minimum wage for most wage-earners:
Ten weeks after the Illinois election, Gov. Bruce Rauner might have finally ended the campaign Friday by rescinding seven executive orders that his defeated opponent issued in his final week in office.
Rauner – by executive order – canceled action taken by ex-Gov. Pat Quinn, including three decrees the Democrat announced Monday, his final day in office.
They included requiring governors to disclose income tax returns by May and commanding state vendors to pay employees $10 an hour, instead of the current minimum wage of $8.25.
While $10/hour isn’t exactly what I’d call a living wage, to allow those who contract with the State of Illinois to pay their employees only $8.25/hour is a pro-poverty policy. In fact, in our state’s capital, Springfield, $8.25/hour would only be considered a living wage for a single adult living by himself/herself, and $8.25/hour would be a poverty wage for any one-adult family with at least two children and any two-adult family with at least one child.
On November 4, an overwhelming majority of Illinois voters voiced their support for increasing our state’s minimum wage to $10 per hour.
However, despite the fact that the Illinois Senate passed a minimum wage bill, the Illinois House of Representatives adjourned without passing legislation to raise our state’s minimum wage, presumably because one or more Raunercrats in the state house oppose raising the minimum wage. This is a major failure by State House Speaker Mike Madigan and the rest of the Democrats who have a supermajority in the state house because they completely ignored the will of the people of this great state.
Raising the minimum wage would boost our state’s economy by putting more money into the pockets of the working poor, enabling them to spend more money on goods and services. Furthermore, raising the minimum wage would make Illinoisans less reliant on social safety net programs like foodstamps and heating assistance, saving taxpayers money while keeping our social safety net intact for people who need it.
The fact that Democrats in this state can’t pass a minimum wage increase proves how gutless the Democratic Party of Illinois is.