IL GOP Candidates Talk About Raising Minimum Wage


WTVO/WQRF - It's the biggest race of the primary season, the republican race for governor.

Gov. Pat Quinn wants to raise the minimum wage in Illinois to $10/hour.  But, what do his republican counterparts think?

"Here's the issue with minimum wage, it's a double edged sword" says Bruce Rauner.

It's a topic that has every GOP Gubernatorial candidate talking with less than a month remaining before the Illinois Primary.  The idea of raising the minimum wage makes sense for low-income families, but it's not that simple.

"People need to understand that when you increase the minimum wage, you're going to have few minimum wage workers, whether they'd be students or part time workers available" says Sen. Kirk Dillard.  "So, you're going to unemploy the various types of people you're trying to help."

State Treasurer Dan Rutherford agrees.

"What you're doing is telling a business that's delivering a good or service, that artificially your government has increased your cost if you're hiring people that category of dollar salaries."

Rauner has struggled to clarify his position on the issue in the campaign, until now.

"I am comfortable supporting an increase in the minimum wage" says Rauner.  "But, only if it's combined with pro-business reform so small businesses can afford to pay more in wages."

Sen. Bill Brady wants to put off the minimum wage discussion for another day.

"I've called for a moratorium on raising the minimum wage, bring some stability" says Brady.  "You can't do as Pat Quinn and talk about raising it to $10 because we've seen what that does to our economy."

The economic impacts affects how an increase would be applied.

Dillard says "we obviously have to have what I call a free-market principle in a minimum wage.  A minimum wage in Chicago is certainly going to have to be higher because of cost of living than in rural Tennessee."

As Rauner previously mentioned, he wants reform if minimum wage goes up.  "Change our tax burden on business, reduce it" says Rauner.  "Change our workers comp system, which is broken and corrupt in Illinois and driving employers away and charge our TORT system.  We need TORT reform... if we do those things then a moving up minimum wage might make some sense and I'd support it."

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