Low Expectations for Quinn’s State of the State: ‘It’s Easy To Spend Other People’s Money’
SPRINGFIELD, Jan. 28, 2014—Kim Clarke Maisch, state director of the National Federation of Independent Business, released the following statement in advance of Gov. Pat Quinn’s State of the State message:
“It’s a safe bet that Governor Quinn is going to use Wednesday’s speech to call for a massive increase in the state’s minimum wage while, in the same breath, talking about shoring up the state’s economy and creating jobs.
“The problem, though, is that it’s easy to spend other people’s money. It doesn’t take any courage or vision.
“Pat Quinn is a lifelong politician. He’s never run a small business or dealt with the struggles they face. He sees a minimum-wage increase strictly in political terms. It’s a gimmick to score political points, especially with his allies in organized labor.
“So, this is a teachable moment.
“This is a chance for us in the business community to redouble our efforts to teach the governor how the private sector works. The fact of the matter is, raising the minimum wage will not only make things worse but will invariably hurt the people it’s supposed to help.
“If the cost of labor increases, employers are going to have a choice: raise prices across the board or get by with fewer employees. If they decide to cut jobs, it’s going to be a lot harder for inexperienced or unskilled applicants to find a job.
“Our members believe Illinois would be better off if the governor focuses on real issues that would help small businesses improve their bottom line and starting hiring again. We can do that by passing real workers’ compensation reform, eliminating stifling regulations and letting the income tax hike expire.
“Illinois already has the fourth-highest unemployment rate in the country. We can’t afford to make things worse.”
NFIB/Illinois is the state’s leading small-business association, with over 11,000 dues-paying small-business members representing a cross section of the state’s economy.