On Tuesday, October 20, Elise Houren, director of government relations for the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, testified before the Finance Committee of the Cook County Board of Commissioners opposing the “Cook County Responsible Business Act.”
The ordinance, proposed by Robert Steele, Cook County Commissioner of the 2nd District, would apply to any employer or franchisor that employs at least 750 employees in Cook County and require the employer to pay a minimum wage that would rise every year. The minimum wage would eventually reach more than $13 per hour and require burdensome filing requirements with the County and punitive measures for employers who do not meet this new mandate.
The Chicagoland Chamber opposes this ordinance. Houren expressed concern that the employer community already faces many challenges and costly, hard-hitting policies when trying to do business in Cook County and Chicago. Houren testified that the economic climate of the region is suffocating, as the City has implemented an increase in its own minimum wage and Cook County voted for a $400 million dollar tax hike that raises its sales tax on businesses and consumers.
“With continued mandates and regulations that have unintended consequences, businesses remain uncertain and their growth capabilities become more and more constricted,” said Houren. “This is ultimately resulting in loss of jobs and further cost-saving measures being taken by businesses.”
Click here to read Houren’s fully testimony.