Iowa lawmakers react to proposed Illinois minimum wage hike

    Lawmakers discussed hot topics to a crowded room ranging from healthcare, and gun control.

    Thursday, the Illinois House of Representatives approved a bill that would increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

    That bill still awaits Governor J.B. Pritzker’s signature.

    Friday, southeast Iowa legislatures gathered in Lee County for a round table discussion.

    Lawmakers discussed hot topics to a crowded room ranging from healthcare, and gun control, to minimizing the economic impact of a minimum wage increase in a neighboring state.

    They big concern was what they think should be done to prevent residents from crossing the river into Illinois for a pay increase.

    “First of all, we are going to have to take our ban off of allowing counties to set their own minimum wage,” said Democrat Senator Rich Taylor of the 42nd District. “People are going to flow across the river with money and we are already losing so many people."

    Taylor believes the Hawkeye state will not be adjusting their minimum wage, at least for this session.

    Republican Representative of the 84th District Joe Mitchell is serving in his first term in Des Moines. He says there are plenty of higher paying jobs in Lee County that are unfilled.

    "That's how the free market works. Is that you know if you leave the Casey's jobs, if they leave the store and Walmart jobs, and they go to these distribution centers, they go to these factory jobs, then Casey's is going to have to bump up their prices,” Mitchell said. “That is how the free market works, that's how we've always done things, capitalism."

    Medical marijuana was also a question of topic at Friday’s forum.

    Lawmakers at the round table agreed, Iowa needs to act on a bill quickly, before congress could pass its own bill.

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