Minimum Wage Hike Could Hurt Workers with Disabilities, Says President of Ray Graham Association

Kim Zoeller wishes lawmakers in Springfield doggedly pushing for a minimum wage increase would see the same big picture she does.

“We won’t weigh in one way or the other on if the proposed minimum wage increase is good for the state,” Zoeller, president and CEO of Ray Graham Association, a non-for-profit organization that “works to create opportunities for people with disabilities,” told the DuPage Policy Journal. “But if this is what the state really wants, it needs to be all the way in."

By that, Zoeller explained, she means state lawmakers need to consider all the ways Senate Bill 081 would change life for many, not just minimum wage workers.

“While we receive funding from the state, there is no mechanism in our contract that increases our rate to pay for things,” she added. “Going hand and hand with that is we’ve been in a situation where we have not received any cost-of-doing-business increase with the state for over a decade now. We have the ability to raise support staff wages, so we’ve seen minimum wage go up and our wages stay the same. It’s left us having major difficulty recruiting and keeping staff, and that issue will only get greater now.”

Read the full story via DuPage Policy Journal.