Metro-east lawmakers split on minimum-wage referendum

From staff and wire reportsMay 20, 2014 

SPRINGFIELD-- The Illinois House has advanced House Speaker Michael Madigan's plan to ask voters whether the state should increase the minimum wage to $10 an hour.

The plan to put a nonbinding question on the November ballot passed the House by a 71-43 vote Tuesday. It comes after Illinois Democrats struggled to find votes to increase the state's minimum wage from $8.25 to $10.65 per hour.

House members from the metro-east were split on the measure, with four voting against the measure and three voting in favor.

Opponents say an increase in the minimum wage would force employers to cut staff, thereby increasing Illinois' unemployment rate -- which is already third-worst in the nation.

Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn on Tuesday said the referendum will help the Legislature "get the job done" as it works to build a majority to raise the minimum wage.

The ballot measure also may work to drive Democratic turnout in the Illinois governor's race between Quinn and Republican businessman Bruce Rauner.

The measure now heads to the Senate.

The bill is HB3814.

Here's how House members from the metro-east voted:

* Rep. Dan Beiser, D-Alton: Yes

* Rep. John Cavaletto, R-Salem: No

* Rep. Jerry Costello II, D-Smithton: No

* Rep. Jay Hoffman, D-Swansea: Yes

* Rep. Eddie Lee Jackson, D-East St. Louis: Yes

* Rep. Dwight Kay, R-Glen Carbon: No

* Rep. Charlie Meier, R-Okawville: No

Belleville News-Democrat is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service