Ugaste not in favor of statewide $15 an hour minimum wage
State Rep. Dan Ugaste (R-Geneva) says he is not in favor of more demands being placed on Illinois business owners, and he thinks a $15 an hour minimum wage would be one.
“Illinois businesses are at enough of a disadvantage and I don’t want to hamper them any further,” Ugaste told the Kane County Reporter of talk state lawmakers plan to ratchet up their efforts to implement the wage hike. “If there’s any adjustment to be made in that area, I believe it should be made at the federal level.”
According to Illinois Policy Institute, the biggest push for such legislation is expected to come from new Gov. J.B. Pritzker, who after making such a pledge part of his campaign platform is now hoping to make good on his promise before his Feb. 20 budget address. Advocates are targeting 2025 for the minimum wage to almost double from the current $8.25.
“I’m all for people making a fair wage and living, but for a state to unilaterally make such a move will only push more people across the border,” said Ugaste, who won his seat in the 65th District in November’s general election with 52 percent of the vote. “It would only serve as a disincentive to growth at a time when we need growth more than anything.”
Ugaste said the state would be better served by finally addressing its debt and myriad other issues.
“Things like the regulatory environment and our exorbitant property taxes are passed the point of needing to be dealt with,” he said. “Workmen’s compensation is also still far too costly, and we need to send the message that we’re truly working to fix our pension system so that business owners can start to feel the sense of stability you need to be successful.”
The 65th House District includes Batavia, Burlington, Dundee, Elgin, Geneva, Grafton, Hampshire, Plato, Rutland and St. Charles.