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IRMA, Manufacturers not happy with Minimum Wage passage

The Illinois Retail Merchants Association (IRMA) released the following statement after the House approved legislation raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour across the state:

"On behalf of the retail community, we are disappointed that a readily achievable compromise was not adopted on such an important matter. We thank the many employers who bravely came forward to share their concerns about the specific impacts of this legislation as they asked lawmakers to appreciate the economic diversity of our state," said Rob Karr, president & CEO, Illinois Retail Merchants Association. "Still, we are hopeful that the failure to embrace genuine and achievable compromise on this legislation is not an indication of further things to come."

House Vote on Minimum Wage Ignores Concerns of Manufacturers --

The Illinois Manufacturers' Association (IMA) released the following statement today after the Illinois House approved legislation to increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour across the state:

"This is an unfortunate outcome for Illinois manufactures and businesses, many of which will now be forced to make some tough decisions that could impact the lives of their employees and the ability to keep their lights on. The IMA and the business community offered real alternatives to help mitigate the negative impact of increasing the minimum wage by 82 percent, but lawmakers ignored our suggestions and concerns," said Mark Denzler, president and CEO of the Illinois Manufacturers' Association. "Moving forward, there must be room for serious compromise on issues directly impacting employers to prevent Illinois from losing more businesses and residents to our neighboring states."

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  • Parent Category: News

Rep. Parkhurst disappointed in Minimum Wage Vote

The Illinois House (Thursday)voted 69-46 to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour within six years. State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst of Kankakee and others voted against Senate Bill 1, saying it's an unfunded mandate that'll cost the state and hurt businesses.

“Illinois is unfriendly to job creators. Illinois’ excessive workers compensation insurance, high taxes, and highest minimum wage in the region, damages and degrades our business climate, Parkhurst said.

Parkhurst said, "I am disappointed Democrats continue the assault on Illinois’ small businesses by passing the minimum wage hike with no negotiation and no input from the Republicans. They simply passed the bill from the Senate without entertaining Republican concerns or suggestions for amendments. This incremental wage increase results in an 82% increase in labor costs for businesses. Inevitably, stores will close, jobs will be lost, prices will increase, and those who Democrats intend to help will only be hurt. History supports this result as this happened in Illinois when it increased the minimum wage in 2010 from $7.25 per hour to $8.25 per hour.

Read more: Rep. Parkhurst disappointed in Minimum Wage Vote

  • Parent Category: News

Congressman Kinzinger deploys To border with his National Guard Unit

An Illinois Congressman is deploying to the border with Mexico with the rest of his Air National Guard unit. Adam Kinzinger represents the state's 16th District and is serving on active duty as a lieutenant colonel. The Republican was elected to Congress in 2010 and is a pilot in the National Guard.

Kinzinger's communications director wrote in a statement that the Congressman will be updated on what's happening in Congress while he serves his mission.

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  • Parent Category: News

Rezin, Welter seek meeting with Exelon, will advocate for workers at Dresden, Braidwood stations

State Senator Sue Rezin of Morris and State Representative David Allen Welter of Morris have sent a letter to Exelon Corporation requesting a meeting to discuss the company’s statement in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission that they may close their generating stations at Dresden and Braidwood.

In the letter, Rezin and Welter emphasize the importance of protecting local jobs and the region’s energy infrastructure.

“The news of a potential shutdown of two of our nuclear power plants is extremely concerning to me and no doubt to the individuals and families who would be directly impacted,” said Sen. Rezin. “Not only do these facilities stimulate Illinois’ labor income and employment, but they also provide huge amounts to the local property tax base, supporting our school districts, higher education and local government. It is my hope that Exelon answers our call for a meeting so that we can begin the process of establishing a path forward.”

“Just over two years ago, the state approved a multi-billion dollar package for Exelon to keep their nuclear power plants in the Quad Cities and Clinton open,” Representative Welter said. “The potential closure of Dresden and Braidwood jeopardizes thousands of jobs critical to families. Our local nuclear plants are an integral component of Illinois’ energy infrastructure. I am deeply concerned by Exelon’s statement and will fight to protect the future of workers at the Dresden and Braidwood stations.”

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  • Parent Category: News

School consolidation talks continue between Districts #9 and #249 in Iroquois County

Declining enrollment, aging buildings and shortage of teachers finds many school districts looking for answers. In Iroquois County --- The C-I District #249 and Community School District #9 in Watseka will find voters deciding if consolidation will form a new district. A referendum question is on the ballot April 2nd. Both districts’ voters would need to approve the referenda for it to pass. If OK’d, the new district would start up July 1.

An informational meeting Wednesday evening again attracted citizens from both communities to learn the facts. Several good questions and comments were directed toward a better future for children and maybe a better learning environment.

District #249 will host an informational meeting March 21st.

94.1 WGFA