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To:                   New Lenox Community Park District

From:               Emily Johnson, CEO, New Lenox Chamber of Commerce

Subject:            November 2014 Referendum

Date:                August 27, 2014


On behalf of the New Lenox Chamber of Commerce and its Board of Directors, I would like to extend our continued support of the New Lenox Community Park District’s November 2014 Referendum.

By voting to “retain” the current tax rate, not increase it, the Park District will be able to provide New Lenox residents with an increased quality of life via its facilities and programs. Through conversations with Greg Lewis, Executive Director, Shirley Braglia, Recreation Superintendent, and Lauren Lotz, Communications/Marketing Supervisor, the Chamber and its Board are confident that the Park District’s November 2014 Referendum is for the overall good of the community and would benefit both residents and business owners.

For additional information on the November 2014 Referendum, visit

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Government Affairs Report

The following is from the Illinois Chamber of Commerce's Government Affairs Department. It is likely that the rest of the state will follow suit. For more information on from the Illinois Chamber on legislative issues, click here.
$13 Minimum Wage in Chicago by 2018
The Chicago Minimum Wage Working Group reported back earlier this week that the minimum wage in Chicago should be raised to $13 an hour by the year 2018 and linked to inflation thereafter. The group estimated this would raise the earnings of over 400,000 citizens of Chicago while at the same time raise prices on food, health care, retail, and hospitality.

The group, consisting of city alderman, representatives from the labor, business, and civic organizations, voted 13-3 to recommend to the city to raise the minimum wage. After the recommendation was released, Mayor Rahm Emanuel stated this is not a political stunt to increase turnout in the November election, but the "right" thing to do to fight poverty, even though some may lose their jobs as a result due to employers being forced to cut back expenses to fund the increased per employee labor costs.

Illinois currently has the highest minimum wage in the Midwest at $8.25 an hour and the highest corporate income tax rate in the industrialize world. If Chicago were to enact a $13 minimum wage, that amount would increase the rate by 57.5% since only 2003. This is far too drastic of an increase for a small business to absorb.

Increases in the minimum wage fall disproportionately on small businesses who are the least able to absorb such a dramatic increase in their labor costs. It also affects employer costs by increasing unemployment insurance rates and Social Security taxes. This can worsen an already adverse business environment in which employers bear costs that are already stifling their ability to grow and create jobs.

Furthermore, raising the minimum wage has not proven to reduce poverty or narrow the income gap and puts a stranglehold on Illinois' top job creators: small businesses. The overwhelming majority of economists continue to affirm the job-killing nature of mandatory wage increases: mandatory minimum-wage hikes increase unemployment among the young and unskilled.

Is it also proven that increases in the minimum wage decrease employment among low-skilled and younger workers; recent study has shown that a 10% increase in the minimum wage results in a 2.3% reduction in employment among that category of worker.

It has also proven ineffective at reducing poverty as the percentage of the overall work force earning minimum wage is at its lowest in history at just 0.4%; with just 15% of those earning minimum wage are classified as head of household, the remainder being teenagers living at home or single earners without children.

Increasing the minimum wage will suppress employment opportunities at the very point in time when Chicago's political leadership should be pursuing policies that will promote increased hiring and reduce unemployment.

The City Council plans to not take up the issue of raising the minimum wage until after the November 4th election when voters will be given a chance to voice their opinion on an advisory referendum to raise the statewide minimum wage to $10 an hour. However, regardless of the statewide vote, the working group recommended to the City Council that Chicago's minimum wage be higher than the statewide minimum.

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Courtesy of the Illinois Chamber's Government Affairs Division

Statewide Legislation

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