Suffredin- For a Better Cook County  
 

Accountability
Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions
Unsung Heroine

 

   
 
   
   
 
   
     
  Office phone numbers:  
   
 
 

The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.

   
 

Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.

   
  Cook County was created on January 15, 1831 and named after Daniel P. Cook, Member of Congress and the first Attorney from the State of Illinois.
   
     
     
     



What Pritzker's minimum wage increase plan could mean for the suburbs

Monday, November 26, 2018
Daily Herald
by Chacour Koop

What Pritzker's minimum wage increase plan could mean for the suburbs

 

One of Gov.-elect J.B. Pritzker's promises on the campaign trail this fall was to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. Jobs and wages are what the Democrat liked to call "kitchen table issues" that Illinois families talk and care about in their homes.

For suburban residents, particularly those who live or work in Cook County, the debate about raising the minimum wage might seem like déjà vu. Two years ago, Cook County enacted a law to gradually increase the minimum wage to $13 an hour in 2020. That will match Chicago's minimum wage set to increase to $13 an hour in 2019.

 

However, municipalities could opt out of the county's minimum wage increase, and many did. According to a Daily Herald analysis of 134 suburbs shortly after the law went into effect, more than three-quarters voted to opt out.

All that might be moot if Illinois lawmakers pass a statewide minimum wage increase. The state legislature in 2017 approved a plan to raise Illinois' minimum wage to $15 an hour over five years. Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed the legislation. With Pritzker set to become governor and Democrats continuing to control the legislature, some predict it's only a matter of time before Illinois' minimum wage is increased.

Here's what that could mean for the suburbs:

Doing the math

Illinois' first minimum wage was $1.40 an hour in 1972, which has about the same buying power as $8.61 today, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The state's minimum wage approached that amount when Illinois lawmakers increased it to $8.25 in 2010, the current statewide minimum. If that amount increased with inflation, Illinois' minimum wage today would be $9.63 an hour.

Full-time minimum wage workers in Illinois earn about $17,160 a year, assuming they work 40 hours per work and don't take any vacation days. That's about $5,000 above the federal poverty level for an individual, according to the latest guidelines from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. But that changes as household size grows. A parent with two children and a minimum wage job would be about $3,600 under the federal poverty guideline.

Illinois vs. others

Eighteen states started 2018 with a higher minimum wage, with some automatically increasing rates based on the cost of living, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. During the election this month, voters in Arkansas and Missouri approved phased-in increases to $11 an hour and $12 an hour, respectively.

Illinois' other neighbors -- Wisconsin, IowaIndiana and Kentucky -- each follow the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.

California and Massachusetts have laws that will increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2022 and 2023, respectively.

Suburban reaction

Many suburbs opting out of Cook County's ordinance argued it would hurt businesses in competition with neighbors in DuPage or Lake counties.

Would a statewide minimum wage increase be more appealing? Some suburban leaders still aren't thrilled at the prospect.

"If I have to take this cancer-causing medication, it's better to do it statewide than county by county," said Mike Charewicz, a Des Plaines alderman and owner of an auto repair shop. "If I have to deal with it, at least it being statewide makes it easier to palate."

Like many opponents, Charewicz fears a higher minimum wage could cause a loss in jobs or apprenticeships, which his business offers, as well as wage compression that would drive up all salaries.

Geri Wasserman, a member of Reclaim Northwest Suburbs, which advocates for towns to opt in to the Cook County ordinance, said the group will continue pressuring municipal board members -- even as Pritzker is set to take office in January.

"We feel a statewide minimum wage increase would be great," Wasserman said. "But the question is when will this happen? In the meantime, people are struggling on a minimum wage of $8.25, trying to make ends meet for their families."



Recent Headlines

Woman, 19, arrested after escaping police custody at Cook County courthouse
Sunday, December 09, 2018
WLS ABC Chicago 7

Here's an exciting prospect: A boring assessor's office
Saturday, December 08, 2018
Crain's Chicago Business

Sheriff starts unique inmate program to combat Chicago's gun epidemic
Thursday, December 06, 2018
RTV 6 Indianapolis

Staff feud at tax appeals board turns nasty
Wednesday, December 05, 2018
Crain's Chicago Business

Cook County Tax Bills Posted Online Three Months Early
Wednesday, December 05, 2018
CBS Chicago

County Board makes it easier to choose Preckwinkle successor
Tuesday, December 04, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

New Cook County assessor vows end to favoritism as he takes office
Monday, December 03, 2018
Crain's Chicago Business

New Cook County Board members sworn in Monday
Monday, December 03, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Cook County referendums: 'Yes' to everything
Wednesday, November 28, 2018
Chicago City Wire

Glenview to discuss Cook County minimum wage, paid sick leave ordinances in December
Tuesday, November 27, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Wilmette reverses course, fully adopts both county minimum wage and sick time rules
Tuesday, November 27, 2018
Chicago Tribune

What Pritzker's minimum wage increase plan could mean for the suburbs
Monday, November 26, 2018
Daily Herald

Cook County sheriff’s vehicle struck during ISP pursuit on I-294
Sunday, November 25, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County 'Tails' program offers redemption for inmates, dogs
Thursday, November 22, 2018
Daily Herald

Cook County correctional officer owns bar where security guard Jemel Roberson shot by cop, officials say
Wednesday, November 21, 2018
Chicago Tribune

More than 2 months after sisters were killed in crash with Cook County sheriff's officer, family still waits for answers
Wednesday, November 21, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Jail guard’s retaliation suit can proceed
Monday, November 19, 2018
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Northbrook will revisit Cook County minimum wage ordinance in May
Sunday, November 18, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Suffredin: County to seek 'safeguards' for golf course road
Friday, November 16, 2018
Evanston NOW

She's been waiting 15 months for her rape kit to be processed. A new proposal to track evidence aims to change that.
Wednesday, November 14, 2018
Chicago Tribune

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.
^ TOP