Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner expressed his reservations about two recent state bills. One would raise the state's minimum wage; the other would allow Chicago residents to elect their own school board.
Both houses of the General Assembly approved a plan to step up the minimum wage to $15 per hour over the next five years from the current level of $8.25. Rauner said he was willing to support an increase to $11 per hour but attacked Democrats for seeking more without GOP support.
"They did that not to achieve a higher minimum wage, which we could have achieved," he said. "They did it for political spin and a headline against me."
As a result, Rauner says he will veto the measure. He says $15 an hour is too high for businesses and will “crush employment.”
The Chicago bill, which passed only the Illinois Senate, would allow city residents to elect 15 school board members rather than have them appointed by the mayor. Current Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel opposes the legislation, and Rauner stopped short of supporting it.
"My big issue is to make sure special-interest groups that make their money from the schools don’t dominate the school board or the school board elections," he said.
Chicago Public Schools is the only district in Illinois that doesn't elect its board members.