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In May, your Board voted to temporarily opt-out of the recently passed Cook County Ordinances regarding minimum wage and paid sick leave which take effect on July 1st. The Board did this for two reasons: first, a substantially new Village Board with a new President and three new Trustees would take over at the end of May. It has long been our Board’s policy to avoid saddling new Board’s with long-ranging policy decisions at the eleventh hour. It made sense to delay a permanent vote, especially since the Cook County ordinances do not take effect until after the new Board was seated.
More importantly, the Board felt that delaying the vote until the end of this year would give the State time to pass minimum wage bills then pending in Springfield. Historically, labor issues such as minimum wage and sick leave have been addressed at the State or national level. Many feel, myself included, that Cook County overstepped its authority when it enacted these bills. The practical result is the creation of an uneven playing field among towns and counties. While it is the duty of the Village Board to fairly represent our residents, it is also the Board’s duty to protect our business community from aggressive overreach. This is especially important when that overreach saddles our small business owners with additional burdens that neighboring businesses do not face.
For this reason, your Board strongly supports a state-wide solution to the minimum wage issue. On May 31st, our State Congress passed a minimum wage bill that is now sitting on Gov. Rauner’s desk, awaiting his approval. I encourage you to write Gov. Rauner expressing your support of that bill. For the sample letter to the governor, please go to: http://wsprings.com/documentcenter/view/4333.
Please feel free to email me and the Board of Trustees with your comments, concerns, or suggestions for future President’s Corner articles.