Turns out Chicago Ald. Freddrenna Lyle (6th Ward) will carry the torch on creating a living-wage law that would require stores with 50 or more employees to pay those workers $11.03 an hour if they benefit from tax increment financing (TIF) or other public subsidies. When Ald. Ed Burke (14th Ward) first floated the legislation (in response to opposition over Wal-Mart's proposed expansion), we noted how it represented a new twist on TIF reform. To her credit, Lyle is expanding the population who would benefit from the higher wages even further. In an ordinance introduced today, she proposes that those providing contracted services -- like cleaning or landscaping -- benefit from the living wage law as well. The bill is headed to the Burke's Finance Committee next. (See update below.)
"We've come too far to go back now," said Rev. Booker Vance of the Good Jobs Chicago Coalition at a City Hall press conference today. "We won't be denied." Watch:
UPDATE (4:18 pm): According to folks with the Good Jobs Chicago Coalition, Ald. Lyle did not introduce the living wage bill today. There seems to have been some miscommuncation between the alderman and the organizers. We will provide further detail when it becomes available.