Severin: Minimum Wage Hike is Valentine’s Day Massacre for Southern Illinois Economy

Springfield….117th District State Rep. Dave Severin (R-Benton) was not in a loving mood following a Valentine’s Day vote to raise Illinois’ minimum wage to $15.00 per hour. Severin, who is a small business owner himself, says he is afraid that the impact of such a large increase will result in more businesses closing and more people leaving the State of Illinois.

“I guess you could call today a ‘Valentine’s Day’ massacre for Southern Illinois’ economy,” Severin said. “This minimum wage hike is going to kill jobs, close businesses, and put Southern Illinois further behind in competition with our neighboring states.”

Severin expressed concern over the rapid pace at which the legislation moved, and at the rapid pace with which the minimum wage will rise.

“SB 1 represents a singularly partisan effort,” Severin said. “Despite early pledges by Governor Pritzker to work together with Republicans, Democrats have put this bill on the fast track so Governor Pritzker can take a victory lap during his budget address next week. That is not a good reason to implement such a sweeping redistribution of wealth that will have decades of economic impact on our State.”

Severin says he has spoken with several local business owners and executives of larger companies in the past couple of days as the legislation raced through the process over the last two weeks.

“I’m hearing from businesses large and small, from local Chambers of Commerce, from staffing agencies, from human services providers…everyone’s worried that they’ll either have to close their doors or raise prices to an untenable point,” Severin said. “If the Governor signs this legislation I’m certain that Southern Illinoisans will lose jobs, that businesses will close, and that our costs of living and educating our kids will go up. That is unfortunate. That is why I voted NO on SB 1 today.”