On Thursday, members of the House of Representatives approved a minimum wage hike that business owners from across the state said will negatively impact their ability to stay in business. Republican lawmakers, many of whom asked for the process to be slowed down so that concerns from the business community could be addressed, voted unanimously against the bill.
After the vote, State Representative Grant Wehrli (R-Naperville) issued the following statement:
“In my community, I have a social services agency called Little Friends, which operates Spectrum Services in Downers Grove, an organization that provides jobs to adults with intellectual disabilities. The approved wording of this bill puts their ability to provide meaningful jobs to disabled adults in real jeopardy. Nearly 175 adults with intellectual disabilities may soon be out of a job because the bill sponsor refused to slow down the process and respond to legitimate concerns that were brought to his attention yesterday during the committee hearing. Had we taken the time to address serious issues about the wording of this bill, Spectrum Services might not be facing the real possibility of closing their doors. Instead, it was clearly more important to hand the Governor a minimum wage bill he could tout during next week’s budget address. Our vulnerable populations deserve better.”
“The effective date of this bill would not have changed if Democrats would have slowed down, listened to valid concerns, and ensured that the best bill possible was sent to the Governor. But for reasons that are purely political and which had nothing at all to do with good public policy, this bill moved at rocket-speed to the Governor.”
“There are business entities and organizations that wanted to negotiate in good faith with the bill sponsor, but sadly they were stonewalled and frozen out of the process. There are serious technical flaws with this bill and there are fundamental flaws with this bill. What we witnessed today was the Democrat majority sending legislation they knew was not in its best form to the Governor. Business owners from districts represented by Democrats should take notice of the disservice done to them today by their elected Representative.”