On Thursday, members of the House of Representatives approved a minimum wage hike that adds significant budgetary pressures to the State of Illinois budget. Republican lawmakers, many of whom asked for the process to be slowed down so that concerns could be addressed, voted unanimously against the bill.
After the vote, State Representative Tom Demmer (R-Dixon) issued the following statement:
“Every year one of the most difficult votes we take is on the passage of a state budget. The action we took today adds hundreds of millions of dollars in new budgetary pressures. We already have billions in unpaid bills on our shoulders, and we simply cannot afford the expectations built into this bill. If we don’t come up with a sufficient increase in appropriations to meet these new obligations, the responsibility falls to social service providers, to non-profits, to school districts and local governments to pay the new minimum wage. Today’s vote put incredible pressure on these providers.”
“This legislation limits our ability to grow jobs in this state. It makes our job creators think twice about staying in Illinois or maintaining current staffing levels. We need to encourage job growth, not limit it.”
“With this vote we once again put politics over policy. We once again chose political expediency over the long-term best interests of this state. We have put the state in a more precarious position, and made our work toward a balanced budget in May even more difficult.”