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WJBD - Local News - Governor Quinn Proposes Raising Illinois Minimum Wage, Merchants Against Increase

Governor Quinn Proposes Raising Illinois Minimum Wage, Merchants Against Increase

By The Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Governor Pat Quinn has proposed raising Illinois' minimum wage from $8.25 to $10 an hour.  He outlined the plan during his annual State of the State speech before lawmakers on Wednesday.  Quinn says nobody should work 40 hours a week and live in poverty. The federal rate has been $7.25 an hour since 2007.  

The current Illinois rate took effect in July 2010, when it increased by a quarter. The U.S. Department of Labor says only two other states - Washington and Oregon - have a minimum wage higher than Illinois.  A proposal to raise the minimum wage came up in the state Senate last year but wasn't called for a floor vote. 

The Illinois Retail Merchants Association and Illinois Chamber of Commerce are against raising the state's minimum wage.  The merchants association represents more than 23,000 stores.  President David Vite says raising the state's minimum wage will hurt people looking for jobs and employers. He says instead Quinn and lawmakers should focus on the state's budget crisis and pension problems.  The chamber says raising the minimum wage is "an untimely, ill-advised and outrageous proposal."

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