At the request of Village President Bob Bielinski, the Wilmette Board of Trustees will vote whether to “opt in” to the Cook County minimum wage and paid sick leave ordinances at its November 27, 2018, Village Board meeting.
On November 6, 2018, in an election with strong voter turnout, Wilmette voters approved the Cook County minimum wage referendum by a margin of 76% to 24%, and approved the Cook County paid sick leave referendum by a margin of 80% to 20%.
“The November 6 referenda correctly and accurately reflected the County’s ordinances and were both approved overwhelmingly by Wilmette voters. Therefore, I believe that the Village Board should expeditiously implement the results of the referenda and fully ‘opt in’ to both Cook County ordinances,” stated Village President Bob Bielinski.
In 2017, when the Village Board joined more than 100 other suburban Cook County municipalities in “opting out” of Cook County’s 2016 minimum wage and paid sick leave ordinances before they took effect, Cook County had not studied or solicited information on the potential impact of their ordinances on suburban communities. Accordingly, the Village Board appointed a working group of highly qualified individuals to conduct a thorough and thoughtful review of the Cook County ordinances and how they might affect Wilmette. After receiving this report, the Village Board modified its position in June 2018 to “opt in” to the Cook County minimum wage requirements on October 1, 2018, subject to certain conditions.
“Thanks to the extensive public discussion of this subject in Wilmette during 2017 and 2018, and the comprehensive report of the working group, Wilmette residents are better informed and engaged on this issue than anywhere else in Cook County,” said Village President Bob Bielinski.
The Village ordinance to fully “opt in” to the Cook County minimum wage and paid sick leave regulations will be introduced on Tuesday, November 13, 2018, and discussed and voted upon on November 27, 2018. This timing allows the Cook County Paid Sick Leave regulations to take effect January 1, 2019, and will give businesses over a month to prepare. The minimum wage requirements of the County’s ordinance are already in effect in Wilmette.Click here to view a memo from President Bielinski to the Village Board of Trustees.