Push to raise minimum wage in Illinois gaining supporters

By Ryne Turke on April 6 at 8:03am

According to House Speaker Michael Madigan, the House is fully in favor of the legislation raising wages from the current $8.25 to $10.65, which will be considered at next month’s General Assembly session.

Mark Schierl, owner of Jacksonville restaurants Mulligan’s, Brickhouse, Muggy’s and Schiraz, says the increase in wages could cause issues for small businesses.

“Right now we are one of the highest in the nation as far as minimum wage and it’s a battle right now,” says Schierl.

“If minimum raise is increased we are going to have to cut our staff down because we just can’t afford it. I don’t know if the people making these decisions are in big or small buisness but they don’t realize how much this takes out of the small buisness man’s pocket. We are struggling right now and then they are going to add this onto us.”

Schierl, who has a total of 80 employees between the four establishments, adds that hiking the wages up over $2 an hour makes hiring more employees a difficult task.

“We have a lot of good employees,” says Schierl.

“We give them nice raises and things like that but starting out we don’t know a lot of these employes. Starting them out at $10 an hour is hard to do for a small business”

The wage hike proposal is sponsored by state Representative Arthur Turner and is yet to move despite many sponsors in favor of it. The biggest back for the legislation is Governor Quinn, who has made the measure the cornerstone of his re-election campaign.