Bailey says minimum wage hike would hurt small businesses
State Rep. Darren Bailey (R-Xenia) argues that the $15 per hour minimum wage increase being pushed by Democrats amounts to just another tax increase in disguise.
“It will raise the cost of everything around you,” Bailey told the SE Illinois News. “And that’s just for the businesses that can survive. For small businesses, it will be devastating, especially down here around southern Illinois. It will definitely force some small businesses to close, and there’s no doubt about it.”
Gov. J.B. Pritzker has renewed the Democratic-led charge for such an enactment, with Illinois Policy Institute reporting he now envisions passing it into law before his budget address planned for Feb. 20.
While the timeline for the increase, which will almost double the state’s current minimum wage rate of $8.25, remains in question, Bailey argues that is not the most pressing issue.
“I wholeheartedly believe local economies need to develop local wages and have the final say,” he said. “For big businesses in Chicago that can handle this by simply adjusting the cost to consumers, maybe this isn’t such a big deal, but for small-business owners it can mean the difference between surviving and falling off the map.”
Bailey, who won in the 109th District in November with more than 75 percent of the vote, said that in his opinion, in far too many instances sowing division has become the way of the Democratic Party.
“For years, they’ve gone after minority groups in different ways,” he said. “Whatever they can do to earn votes is on the table, regardless of what cost it comes at. It’s this brand of politics that has driven the state to its knees.”
Bailey is nt alone in his opposition. The National Federation of Independent Business has branded the proposal a “job killer.”
“Even more repercussions will develop as more people make the decision to leave Illinois because of things like this,” Bailey added. “It definitely would happen. People want to have a free and positive environment to do business in.”
The 109th House District includes all or part of Clay, Edwards, Effingham, Jasper, Lawrence, Richland, Wabash, Wayne and White counties.