Campus jobs could disappear with Illinois minimum wage increase

Western Illinois University student Sarah Clancy works at the university bookstore for minimum wage.

Some Illinois lawmakers are trying to raise the state's minimum wage for full-time workers.

Business owners are concerned they can't afford to pay workers an increase in salary and will be forced to lay off many employees.

The legislation also has many universities concerned about employing students for campus jobs.

Many Illinois universities will be forced to cut jobs for students that work on campus jobs.

Western Illinois University students who work full-time on campus are excited their pay may increase.

"I would love an increase in pay, so I'm all for raising the minimum wage," WIU senior Sarah Clancy said.

Lawmakers in Illinois are proposing a new plan to raise the minimum wage from $8.25 to around $10 per hour.

Universities that employ students part-time or full-time to work in facility such as their libraries, bookstores and cafeterias, may have to lay off many students to adjust to the new wage increases.

Senior Kyle Randolph works at WIU's Apple computer store.

Randolph says wage increases make him afraid that the university won't have enough to pay his salary and they will be forced to lay him off.

"If I'm not a strong enough asset to this company, then that shows that I haven't proven myself within that field," Randolph said.

WIU Budget Director Matt Bierman says the university doesn't have enough funds to pay for these wage increases.

"The impact for us for a $2 minimum wage increase is what we have run our analysis on. It's about $1.25 million for us and that's something we're going to have to make up in our budget," Bierman said.

Bierman says many students may lose their campus jobs if the pay increase goes into effect.

"We have the choice of reducing student employment hours and reducing the number of students that actually have jobs," Bierman said.

Randolph says regardless if he receives a pay increase or he's laid off, he will always try to work harder in the future.

"Maybe it's time to look at where I am and how to better myself," Randolph said.

The minimum wage for all state employees can't be lower then the federal minimum wage, which is $7.25.

Lawmakers are not expect to vote on the issue until May.