Tipped wage debate hits Springfield

Tipped wage debate hits Springfield

Happy Wednesday, Illinois. In the Nevada primary, Joe Biden hit the jackpot but no dice for Nikki Haley. It was “worse than you can imagine,” via POLITICO

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — State lawmakers are introducing legislation that would eliminate the tipped minimum wage for workers across the state, a move that comes just months after the Chicago City Council ended the long-held practice.

It’s a movement: If passed, Illinois would become the eighth state behind California, Alaska, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, Oregon and Washington to adopt a regular minimum-wage-plus-tips-on-top for folks such as waiters, bellhops or bussers.

The proposal is getting pushback from the Illinois Restaurant Association and the Illinois Retail Merchants Association. They say the measure will cut workers’ pay and increase business costs. “This legislation will do more harm than good as it will fundamentally change the way all restaurants operate, hurting our smaller, family-run and minority-owned businesses the most,” according to the restaurant association.

Supporters disagree: Some Democratic lawmakers and the national One Fair Wage campaign, which led the effort to end tipped wages in Chicago and other states, say data shows along with employees benefiting, companies see lower turnover, which improves the bottom line.

The issue is controversial. Small businesses in downstate Illinois are bristling at the prospect, according to lobbyists who work with them.

But Larry Dominick, the mayor of suburban Cicero, is embracing it. “With the City of Chicago moving to phase out its subminimum wage, it is imperative that suburbs like Cicero move quickly to ensure our workers keep pace and our businesses can stay competitive,” he said in a statement to Playbook. “Putting more money into the pockets of restaurant workers … can boost our local economy.”

The idea is also in line with the Democratic Party. President Joe Biden early in his administration issued an executive order that raised the minimum wage and phased out the subminimum wage for government workers who relied on tips (I guess there were a few.).

The Illinois bill is being carried by the state Sen. Lakesia Collins and Rep. Lisa Hernandez, who is also head of the Democratic Party of Illinois.

In other words, this bill has juice. Though don’t expect quick action. Lawmakers aren’t going to engage in a legislative battle before the March 19 primary.


Lawmakers propose criminalizing mishandling human remains in Illinois, by WCIA’s Danny Connolly and Theodora Koulouvaris

State Supreme Court denies GOP state Rep. Dan Caulkins’ bid to vacate gun ban ruling, by Capitol News’ Jerry Nowicki

Lawmakers introduce police reform measures, by Capitol News’ Andrew Adams and Alex Abbeduto

THE BOST, BAILEY PARLOR GAME: Asylum seekers aren’t looking for help from southern Illinois’ 12th Congressional District, but that hasn’t stopped U.S. Rep. Mike Bost and challenger Darren Bailey from making immigration an issue in their fierce primary contest.

On Monday, Bailey traveled to the Texas border saying, “It’s time to stop this chaos at our doorstep.” Here’s a clip

And on Tuesday, Bost came out with a new ad that says if reelected, Bost “will finish President Trump’s wall.” Here’s the ad

Both have latched on to a Republican theme of lawlessness at the border. It’s not an issue that directly affect their district the way it has in Chicago, but it’s one that stirs emotions. Or they hope so.

It’s a political parlor game trying to figure out the outcome.

Bost is a conservative Republican who voted with Trump during his White House term and now chairs the House Committee on Veterans Affairs.

Bailey is a conservative Republican who backs Trump and served in the Illinois House and Senate before losing to Democratic Gov. JB Pritzker in 2022.

In a profile of by Belleville News-Democrat’s Lexi Cortes, Bost says experience matters. He’s been in Congress since 2015, while Bailey says he’s got the grassroots support needed to energize Washington.

The money game: Bost had $1.4 million cash on hand, according to the latest Federal Election Commission filings, and Bailey had $117,000. But money doesn’t fuel Republican primary election voters, so it’s anyone’s game.

Today, Bost will hold a “Rally the Troops” event with two Texas congressmen. Details here

On Sunday, Bailey will air a $15,000 local ad during the Super Bowl. And later this month, Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz, who led the charge against former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, will stump for Bailey in Illinois. Details here

If you are Matt Gaetz, Playbook would like to hear from you. Email [email protected]

No official public events.

At the Legler Library at 1 p.m. for World Read Aloud Day with Chicago Public School students and author Natasha Tarpley.

At the Rockwell Warehouse at 9 a.m. to announce the Facilities Management Engineer Trainee Program.

Have a tip, suggestion, birthday, new job or (gasp!) a complaint? Email [email protected]

Assessor contributes $100K to Super PAC in fight with tax appeal commissioner: The fund “seems to run parallel to Kaegi’s efforts to oust incumbent Board of Review Commissioner Larry Rogers Jr. in the March 19 Democratic primary. Kaegi, his campaign fund and family have recently donated more than $28,000 in cash and in-kind campaign help to Larecia Tucker, a real estate broker and clerk in the Rich Township assessor’s officer running against Rogers. … Rogers described the assessor’s involvement in the race as ‘the epitome of a conflict of interest,’” the Tribune’s A.D. Quig reports.

— Hedging bets? The Chicago Firefighters Union Local 2 is apparently playing it safe by endorsing both Democrats in the Cook County state’s attorney’s race. Letters of support were sent to Eileen O’Neill Burke and Clayton Harris III. Here’s O’Neill Burke’s letter, and Harris’ letter is here. The union didn’t immediately return a request for comment.

— O’Neill Burke, Harris and Republican Bob Fioretti will appear in a West Suburban Chamber forum in La Grange Park on Feb. 13. Details here

— Liam Kelly, a Democratic candidate for Cook County judge in the 10th Subcircuit, has been endorsed by Niles Township Supervisor Bonnie Kahn-Ognisanti, state Rep. Kevin Olickal and Chicago Ald. Andre Vasquez.

Mayor delays announcement of major economic development initiative: “Mayor Brandon Johnson is gearing up to officially unveil a plan to borrow $1.25 billion to provide $250 million annually for five years to subsidize affordable housing developments and other projects meant to spark economic vitality across Chicago’s neighborhoods,” reports Crain’s Justin Laurence.

Antisemitic messages left on cars in Edgewater, via the Sun-Times

Chicago migrants are under pressure as the deadline to find permanent housing looms, by WBEZ’s Adriana Cardona-Maguigad

Parents press Chicago Public Schools to provide ‘immediate’ relief to families without busing, by the Tribune’s Alysa Guffey

Food vendor controversy over feeding migrants as mayor leaves out the Greater Chicago Food Depository, by NBC 5’s Mary Ann Ahern

Blackhawks to host Winter Classic at Wrigley Field next season, by Block Club’s Max Liederman

Orland Park mayor rejects Gaza cease-fire resolution, suggests those opposing U.S. interests ‘go to another country’: “The Chicago Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations condemned Keith Pekau’s comments calling them ‘ignorant and dangerous.’ Pekau said he values the ‘respectful views of all my constituents,’” by the Sun-Times’ Emmanuel Camarillo.

Dolton Mayor Tiffany Henyard pushed back at critics: “You all should be ashamed of yourselves because you all are Black. You all are Black! And you all sitting up here beating and attacking a Black woman that’s in power,” she said. WGN’s Ben Bradley reports

“Empire” actor Jussie Smollett asks Illinois Supreme Court to hear appeal of his conviction for faking a hate crime on himself: “The move marks the next step as Smollett works to exhaust all his appeal options after a jury in 2021 convicted him on five of six counts of disorderly conduct,” by the Tribune’s Madeline Buckley.

— Usher’s Super Bowl Halftime Show on Sunday got a behind-the-scenes boost from Kosine, a Grammy nominated music producer originally from Chicago. Old friends might know him as Marcos Palacios.

Name-dropping: Kosine met up with Mayor Brandon Johnson at the Grammys over the weekend. The Columbia College of Chicago grad has worked with Nicki Minaj, Rihanna, Big Sean, Justin Bieber and Nas over the years. And a new ad campaign for Kim Kardashian’s SKIMS men’s collection features Usher and his “Coming Home” album’s bonus track called “Naked,” which Kosine produced.

— Speaking of Grammys … Illinois Senate President Don Harmon, who also plays guitar, paid tribute to Tracy Chapman and her recent Grammy appearance. Video!

We asked how you pass the time on Amtrak.

Michael Burton: “Strumming the chords to ‘City of New Orleans’ in the sky car.”

John Howell: “Dealing card games with the old men in the club car. Penny a point, ain’t no one keeping score. Pass the paper bag that holds the bottle. Feel the wheels rumbling ‘neath the floor. (With a nod to Steve Goodman.)”

Ashvin Lad: “Reading. Napping. People watching.”

Mike Matejka: “Enjoy the scenery and monitor if the train will make it to the station on time.”

Paul Nowicki, a retired railroader: “Dreaming of the good old days when trains went everywhere, dining cars offered meals cooked on board and parlor cars had individual swivel seats.”

Omari Prince: “The first 45 minutes I take a nap and then I check emails while heading to the Capitol.”

Tracy Sefl: “Remembering several years ago when Meryl Streep and her husband were seated in front of me on a New York train bound for Washington, D.C. There she was, so stunning, and enjoying the same not-great-but-available ‘train wine’ as me.”

NEXT QUESTION: What’s your favorite Abe Lincoln artwork in Springfield? Email: [email protected]

Behind the border mess: Open GOP rebellion against McConnell, by POLITICO’s Burgess Everett

Ronna McDaniel set to leave RNC in the spring, by POLITICO’s Meredith McGraw and Alex Isenstadt

House GOP fails to impeach Mayorkas over border handling, by POLITICO’s Jordain Carney and Olivia Beavers

Trump is not immune from prosecution for bid to subvert the 2020 election, appeals court rules, by POLITICO’s Kyle Cheney and Josh Gerstein

— James “Pate” Philip, the former Illinois Senate president and longtime General Assembly member, will be memorialized today in Senate chambers. He died in November.

TUESDAY’s ANSWER: The Flying Black Medics organized by Dr. Leonidas Harris Berry were medical professionals who flew from Chicago to Cairo to aid victims of the 1970 racial unrest in Southern Illinois.

TODAY’s QUESTION: Who was Al Capone’s favorite mayor? Email [email protected]

Illinois House Majority Leader Robyn Gabel, Champaign County Clerk Aaron Ammons, Durbin comms director Emily Hampsten, philanthropist Maureen Dwyer Smith, Hellenic American Leadership Council Executive Director Endy Zemenides, political consultant Wallace Gator Bradley and Charles Schwab Senior Writer Bruce Blythe.