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Glenview board gives initial support to Cook County minimum wage, paid sick leave ordinances

Wednesday, January 23, 2019
Chicago Tribune
by Alexandra Kukulka

Glenview board gives initial support to Cook County minimum wage, paid sick leave ordinances

After opting out of the Cook County minimum wage and paid sick leave ordinances in 2017, the Glenview Board of Trustees took the first step Jan. 15 toward adopting both ordinances.

In a 4-1 vote, the board gave initial support to adopt the Cook County minimum wage and paid sick leave ordinances effective July 1, 2019, with the condition that the ordinances will be repealed if the state takes action that impacts Glenview. Trustee Philip White was absent.

Because the vote wasn’t unanimous, the board will discuss and vote on the ordinances at its Feb. 5 meeting, Village President Jim Patterson said.

In 2016, the Cook County Board of Commissioners passed an ordinance that would increase minimum wage to $13 an hour by 2020 and an ordinance that would allow employees to earn one hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked, with a maximum of five days a year of paid sick leave.

Glenview “was able to determine its own course of action” as a home-rule municipality, Patterson said at a previous meeting. In June 2017, the board voted to opt out of both ordinances.

The board decided to revisit that move in light of the results of advisory referenda that were placed on the ballot Nov. 6, he said.

Cook County voters were asked if the municipality they live in should match the $13 per hour Cook County minimum wage law for adults over the age of 18 by July 1, 2020, and then be indexed to the consumer price index after that. They were also asked if the municipality they live in should match Cook County earned sick time law, which allows for workers to earn up to 40 hours of sick time a year to take care of their own health or a family member’s health.

In Glenview, approximately 76 percent of residents supported the minimum wage referendum, while approximately 82 percent of Glenview residents supported the paid sick leave ordinance.

Village staff recommended that the board approve ordinances to apply the Cook County minimum wage and paid sick leave ordinances in Glenview effective July 1, 2020, “until such time that the State of Illinois may amend” the Illinois minimum wage law and employee sick leave act, according to a board report.

Eighteen residents addressed the board, most of them in support of opting into the Cook County ordinances. The majority of those who spoke urged the board to enforce the ordinances before July 1, 2020.

Residents reminded the board that Glenview voters support both ordinances.

Sheri Latash, co-president of the League of Women Voters of Glenview/Glencoe, said the village should enforce the ordinances 90 days after adoption. The board should not wait on the state legislature because it is unclear if action will be taken on both paid sick leave and minimum wage laws, she said.

“We ask the village board to consider the optics of delaying compliance until July 2020. For too long, employees without earned sick leave have lacked basic control over a fundamental, personal aspect of their lives. Is that something the village board wants to perpetuate even one more day?,” Latash said.

Resident Margaret Sents said the board is putting off the ordinances until 2020 in the hopes that the state takes action before then and to “relieve them of having to take a position on the matter.”

“Actually, they have already taken a position on this issue that shifted wealth from one constituency to another by opting out of the county ordinances,” Sents said. “Low wage workers were entitled to the raise and earned sick pay that the ordinance afforded them.”

Trustees Michael Jenny, Deborah Karton, Karim Khoja and Kerry Cummings — who was appointed earlier in the meeting to fill a vacant seat following the appointment of former Trustee Scott Britton to the Cook County Board of Commissioners — all made statements in support of opting into the Cook County ordinances.

Cummings, the former village president, said the village has not been trying to avoid responsibility regarding the Cook County ordinances. There has been a difference of opinion on what level of government should be involved with minimum wage and paid sick leave laws, she said.

“Our voters have spoke on this. They have made it very clear,” Cummings said. “I am in favor of opting in. The question does become when that would be.”

The four debated an implementation date for the two ordinances. There was discussion to implement the minimum wage ordinance on July 1, 2020 and paid sick leave earlier, but the four trustees ultimately agreed that the ordinance should be implemented at the same time around July 1, 2019.

Khoja wanted to give businesses as much time as possible to adjust. He proposed implementing the ordinances Dec. 31, 2019, and originally stated he did not support a start date of July 1, 2019 because that did not give businesses enough time.

But during the vote to adopt the ordinances July 1, 2019, Khoja voted in support.

“I am going to be in favor of opting in, but I also want to be fair to the business owners that do business in this town. I think giving them some time is only fair,” Khoja said.

Trustee John Hinkamp voted against the ordinances because he said he doesn’t believe it helps workers and it is proven to eliminate jobs. Hinkamp also said he can’t support the ordinances because certain workers — like employees of religious institutions — are exempt from the ordinances.

“This is a bad law. It’s always been a bad law,” Hinkamp said.

akukulka@chicagotribune.com

Twitter @AKukulka11

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