Feb. 19, 2019
A southern Illinois state representative says the passage of a bill to increase the minimum wage to $15 by 2025 will be devastating for Illinois agriculture and rural communities.
"We can't raise our price on corn or beans because it costs us more to put in. Our prices are affected on the world level. We have to learn how to get it produced with the money that we have. Farmers will be working longer hours and less people will be working for them."
Charlie Meier is a farmer whose represents parts of Washington, Madison, Clinton and St. Clair counties where there are many farms and small businesses.
Meier says the process of passing the bill was rushed and he wishes the General Assembly would have taken the time to come up with a zoning compromise.
"I'm not against workers getting more money, but an 82% increase on small 'mom and pop' businesses and small farms, we're not going to be able to withstand that."
Governor Pritzker applauded the passage of the bill Thursday, saying hard working men and women across Illinois deserve a raise and will now get one. Pritzker says he will proudly sign the legislation in the coming days.