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SPRINGFIELD-Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Brady took aim Wednesday at GOP rival Bruce Rival and Gov. Pat Quinn for their proposals to change Illinois’ $8.25-an-hour minimum wage, calling both “out of touch” with businesses and families.
The multimillionaire private equity investor has proposed cutting the minimum wage by $1 an hour to put it in line with the $7.25-an-hour national minimum wage, while Quinn has called for bumping up the state’s rate to $10 an hour.
“We have Gov. Quinn proposing to raise the minimum wage to $10 an hour, and Bruce Rauner talking about lowering it by $1. They are both out-of-touch with the needs of Illinois families and Illinois business,” Brady said in a prepared statement.
“If we raise the rate, we discourage job growth. If we cut it, we impact hard-working Illinois families who depend on a minimum wage as better jobs continue to leave Illinois,” Brady said.
Rauner, who reported $53 million in earnings in 2012 and has an ownership stake in three professional sports franchises, staked out his position during a candidates forum in early December in the Quad Cities, but his stance on the issue was not widely known until Tuesday when Democrats chose to seize on the issue.
Rauner is the only Republican candidate for governor seeking to lower the rate of pay for Illinois’ working poor. Brady, Sen. Kirk Dillard, R-Bloomington, and Treasurer Dan Rutherford all have expressed opposition to increasing the minimum wage above its current level.
“I believe the state and minimum wage rates need to be paired and support a moratorium on increases in the Illinois minimum wage until the federal rate has caught up with ours,” Brady said.
Illinois minimum wage ranks as the fourth highest in the country.
“I understand the need for a reasonable minimum wage, as Illinois and the nation have lost higher-paying manufacturing jobs to service industry employment,” Brady said. “My focus will be on restoring more of those higher-paying jobs to Illinois, giving more of our families larger paychecks.”