For Immediate Release: March 25, 2015

Contact: Sam Cahnman-217/691-6207

Ald. Sam Cahnman To Intoduce Ordinance Increasing

Minimum Wage In State Capital to $10

“On November 4, 2014 63.74 percent of Illinois voters gave the state legislature its marching orders: raise the minimum wage to $10 per hour. To date the General Assembly has defied those orders,” said Sam Cahnman, Alderman of Springfield's Ward 5.

“The voters of Ward 5 also gave me my marching orders when in the same election 72.52 percent said the minimum wage should be increased to $10 per hour,” Cahnman said. “I take my job as the representative of Ward 5 very seriously. That's why at our next City Council meeting I will intoduce an ordinance to raise the minimum wage in our city to $10,” Cahnman said. The state minimum wage set in 1968 at $8.25 per hour would exceed $10.71 in today's dollars.

“Our city should lead the way on this important issue, just as we did with the under 18 tanning ban,” Cahnman said. “In 2012 Springfield took the lead by enacting Cahnman's under 18 tanning ban ordinance to protect our youth from the ravages of skin cancer. A year later the Illinois General Assembly followed suit, making the ban statewide,” Cahnman said.

“It is time for city to step up to the plate again and lead,” Cahnman said. The city of Chicago already passed a local minimum wage and it has been proposed in Decatur. “Now it is time for us to do the right thing and follow the will of the voters,” Cahnman said. He added that “if enough cities pass a local minimum wage, the Illinois General Assembly will get the message and do its job of carrying out the will of our state's voters.”

The Ward 5 Alderman noted that not to increase the minimum wage amounts to a government subsidy to wealthy corporations because when workers fall near or close to the poverty line, it is the taxpayers who pick up the tab through SNAP, formerly known as food stamps, and other government programs that assist the working poor. “No one who works full time should have to live in poverty,” Cahnman said.

The average minimum wage worker is 35. Most work full-time and over 25 per cent are are parents. The typical minimum wage worker provides over half their family's income. A full time minimum wage worker in Springfield would earn $330 a week and $17,160 a year if they worked all 52 weeks.

Increasing the minimum wage in Springfield is good for our local economy because it will give workers more money to spend right here in Springfield, as opposed to being retained in corporate profits, which would likely not be spent in our local economy, Cahnman said.

Cahnman's minimum wage ordinance would go into effect January 1, 2016.