Governor Pat Quinn visited a South Side church today, making his case for raising the minimum wage in Illinois.
“There’s something wrong if somebody works 40 hours a week and lives in poverty,” Quinn told the congregation at the Apostolic Faith Church, 3823 South Indiana Avenue.
Quinn took his message to the pulpit, highlighting the importance of raising the minimum wage in Illinois to $10 an hour. He says the state’s current $8.25 minimum wage is not enough for the half million workers his office says would benefit most from the wage hike.
“I think that it’s important that working people who work hard raising kids get paid a fair wage, and that’s what this is all about.” Quinn said. “If we want to fight poverty, if we want to fight crime, the best way to do it is with a job.”
Felicia Aycth says she supports taking care of those who make minimum wage, but says after being out of work for 15 months, she worries employers will be even more reluctant to hire. She says she would welcome a job paying $10 an hour, but says she would rather see lawmakers focus on communities where businesses have either closed or are no longer hiring.
The Illinois Retail Merchants Association says: “Illinois has the fourth highest minimum wage in the nation and has increased dramatically since 2003 and the result has been more teens out of work than ever, especially minorities. Another minimum wage hike will only hurt those who are looking for a job and those who employ them in this challenging economy.”