Illinois legislators address minimum wage hike during QC Chamber event

MOLINE, Illinois – Quad City area leaders got a chance to hear from Illinois state legislators during a Legislative Coffee Session hosted by the Quad City Chamber on February 22.

The event took place inside of the Element Hotel in Downtown Moline.

Democrat State Representative Mike Halpin was joined by Republican State Representative Tony McCombie and Republican State Senator Neil Anderson during a panel discussion about key issues in the State of Illinois, including but not limited to workforce development, the Illinois state budget, and bringing high-speed rail to the Quad City area.

During the event, WQAD News 8 asked all three legislators about their stance on the recent minimum wage hike.

There were mixed opinions on the topic.

“There’s going to be more money in people’s pockets to actually buy goods and services on the Illinois side (of the Quad Cities), so I would caution businesses to say ‘think about what the impact is on the people in their community.” said State Rep. Mike Halpin, who supports the minimum wage hike.

Meanwhile, State Senator Neil Anderson said he would’ve liked to support a minimum wage hike, but said he didn’t have a seat at the table.

Now, he says, “We need to find something to give to businesses if we are going to put another burden on them.”

Republican State Representative Tony McCombie agreed, but took it beyond small business and talked about the effects the wage hike could have on large businesses in the area as well.

“Its also going to hurt large businesses that are already paying a $15 per hour minimum wage,” said McCombie. “We are not talking about what its going to do in 2025 when you’re at a $15 minimum wage.”

She said this will create a domino effect that will hurt the way companies invest in talented people.

The Quad Cities Chamber is now planning a similar Legislative Coffee Session for leaders and legislators in Iowa.

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