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Chamber of Commerce Opposes Proposed Minimum Wage Hikes

WGIL Newsroom . Local News 291

The Galesburg Area Chamber of Commerce decided to take a stance on an item being promoted by Governor Pat Quinn.

During this week’s Board of Directors meeting, the Chamber of Commerce voted unanimously to oppose an increase in the state’s minimum wage.

Currently, Illinois requires a minimum wage of $8.25 an hour. That figure is $1 higher than the federal minimum wage, but Quinn has proposed increasing the minimum wage to $10-dollars an hour or more.

When the matter surfaced this year, the Chamber began to field phone calls from member businesses about the issue.

Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Steve Brody tells WGIL that increasing the wage would create a burden on potential hiring.

“There are some businesses in town that are very generous in providing wages, but they felt that if the state mandated such a dramatic increase, that it would have a negative impact on their flexibility and their ability to be generous to their employees,” says Brody.

The matter was initially discussed by the Galesburg Area Chamber of Commerce in February by their Government Affairs Committee.

Information disclosed to Chamber members was provided by the State Chamber for consideration on the issue.

The Illinois Chamber of Commerce recently came out in opposition to the proposed increase and requested the local entities also take stances.

Brody says a survey last year of member businesses showed 87-percent of local businesses opposed the increase.