In 2014, Illinois elected Republican Bruce Rauner as Governor. Bruce Rauner quickly proved that rather than helping the people of Illinois, he was more interested in doing everything he could to push anti-government and pro-corporate ideologies that included attacking unions, cutting taxes for the rich, defunding education, cutting social services and health care programs, and refusing to pass a budget, which caused massive increases in borrowing costs and cost the state of Illinois billions of dollars in additional interest expenses. In addition, Bruce Rauner vetoed a minimum wage increase that had been passed by the state legislature:
Governor Bruce Rauner vetoed the $15 an hour minimum wage bill on Friday.
Gov. Rauner’s veto was a stinging defeat for groups that have fought for the past several years to get the state to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, but business groups applauded the governor’s move.
Senate Bill 81 would have raised the minimum wage to $15 an hour over the next four years. It currently stands at $8.25 an hour.
The residents of Illinois decided to switch gears in this year’s election for Governor, and elected Democrat J.B. Pritzker to replace right-wing ideologue Bruce Rauner. J.B. Pritzker has vowed to undo much of the damage that has been wrought by the disastrous four years under Bruce Rauner’s leadership. And J.B. Pritzker has made increasing the minimum wage a top priority, setting a six month deadline for getting it passed and signed:
Governor-elect J.B. Pritzker said Monday he still plans to raise the minimum wage within his first six months in office — but he stopped short of saying just how much it should increase.
“We’re trying to make sure we implement a raise in the minimum wage while also making sure our small businesses are not ill-affected by it,” Pritzker said at a press conference at 1871, the tech startup incubator he founded, at the Merchandise Mart in River North.
Pritzker, who also announced the appointment of a jobs creation committee as part of his transition team, said he planned to meet with labor unions, retail merchants and entrepreneurs to discuss how much to raise the minimum wage and to ensure that “large businesses are implementing it in as rapid a fashion as we can make happen.”
During the campaign, Pritzker said the minimum wage should be raised to $15 an hour, which is nearly twice what it is now, $8.25 an hour, and above the minimum wage in Chicago, which jumped to $12 an hour this year. Last year, legislation that would have raised the wage to $15 was vetoed by Gov. Bruce Rauner.
Considering the fact that the state legislature enjoys the same Democratic majority that already passed a bill under Rauner to increase the minimum wage, the chances of this deadline being made look quite strong, and that is good news for the people of Illinois.
If passed, Illinois would join cities like Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis, and Seattle, and the states of New York, Massachusetts, and California, in passing a law to increase the minimum wage to $15/hour. These increases have all been passed by Democrats, with the lone exception being the Republican Governor of Massachusetts, who is forced to compromise with the Democratic super majorities in both houses of the state legislature, and has done so, unlike the outgoing Governor of Illinois, Bruce Rauner.
Democratic politicians have been focused on raising wages for their constituents, through efforts like raising the minimum wage and protecting unions. Republican politicians have instead been focused on fighting minimum wage increases and passing anti-union legislation. In states like Iowa and Missouri, Republicans in state government have actually rolled back minimum wage increases passed by local municipalities. In states like Michigan and Wisconsin, Republicans have passed “right to work” legislation to help kill unions.
The difference in philosophies between Democrats and Republicans when it comes to wages has resulted in wage growth in cities, where Democrats most often control local government, easily outpacing wage growth in rural areas.
Among the nation’s 25 largest metropolitan areas, the median income rose by an average of 8.4 percentage points between 2013 and 2016, when adjusted for inflation.…But growth has been decidedly slower in rural America. Among those who live outside Census-designated metropolitan areas, the median income stood at just $45,295 in 2016, an increase of only 5.3 percent since 2013.
It has also resulted in wage growth in many states governed by Democrats, many of the same states who have been increasing minimum wages, like California, New York, Massachusetts, and Washington, easily outpacing most other states in wage growth.
This is why you vote for politicians who prioritize people, not right-wing ideologues who prioritize big business. This is why you vote for Democrats.