Rauner Warns Chicago On Minimum Wage

Dec 2, 2014

Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner speaks with reporters in the Illinois Capitol Building on Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2014.
Credit Brian Mackey/WUIS

Even as Chicago aldermen were voting Tuesday to raise the city's minimum wage, Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner issued a warning on the subject.

Rauner had a simple message for Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

"My recommendation to the mayor is he keeps in mind competitiveness for the city of Chicago," Rauner says.

Rauner says he would support a statewide increase — if lawmakers also pass restrictions on lawsuits and other legislation favored by the business community.

“I would encourage Mayor Emanuel to think about the minimum wage strategically," Rauner says. "Let’s do it in the context of pro-growth reforms."

Some business groups had indicated they might agree to a statewide minimum wage hike, if state lawmakers prevented cities and local governments from going above it. Chicago’s hike to $13 an hour beat them to the punch.

That proposal is still alive, but Chicago’s $13 rate would be grandfathered in. Rauner refused to say where he stands on that idea.