Gov. Pat Quinn says raising Illinois' minimum wage is about dignity and decency. Quinn reiterated his push during his State of the State address. He says he wants to raise the state's $8.25 rate to at least $10 an hour.
"Our minimum wage workers are doing hard work. They are putting in long hours. Yet in too many instances, they are living in poverty. That's not right. That's not an Illinois value. that's not a fair shake."
The Chicago Democrat has wanted to increase the rate for years. Trying to do so has also been part of a national Democratic strategy. In his State of the Union address, President Barack Obama announced plans to raise the minimum wage for federal contract workers to $10.10 an hour, a jump over the current federal $7.25 rate. Minimum wage also has been a major issue on the 2014 gubernatorial campaign trail for Illinois Republicans. Three of the four GOP candidates oppose an increase.
Support Your Public Radio Station