New Year Laws Will Create A Larger Gap Between Iowa and Illinois
In case you haven't noticed, 2020 is coming. With it comes new laws that will shape not only the state you live in, but the states around you as well. For us in the Quad Cities, that happens much more than the majority of the country.
One of these laws will be an economical experiment that other governments in the country may keep an eye on. On Jan 1, 2020 the Illinois minimum wage will raise to $9.25 per hour. While Iowa will stay at the Federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.
This leads to many questions that will take shape over the coming years.
Will the person living and working in Iowa now look for work in Illinois? If they get a $2.00 increase, will they save the drive over a bridge and move to Illinois?
How will businesses on the Iowa side compete to get these workers if they are all going to Illinois?
What will Illinois businesses have to do to their prices in order to cover the cost of the increased minimum wage? Depending on how much those prices go up, will consumers travel to the Iowa side to eat, drink and shop?
While many states have many different minimum wages, few have urban areas like the Quad Cities. Here in the Quad Cities thousands of people cross the bridges daily for work, living, school, shopping and entertainment.
It's estimated that 7 million people will get wage increases across the country on January 1. Many of those will be people working in Illinois. 6 months later, on July 1, that Illinois minimum wage will increase again to $10.00 per hour. By January 1, 2025, the Illinois minimum wage will be $15.00 per hour. Without change by Iowa or the Federal Government will one side flourish while the other languishes? Or will it all even out in the end?
Whichever side of the river, and the debate, you are on, just keep on eye on the prices, the workers and businesses that effect all of us. We in the Quad Cities will be in a unique situation that could divide us by a lot more than a river and bridges.