Minimum wage earners in the State of Illinois could make more money soon under a plan being proposed by Governor Pat Quinn.
Right now, the minimum wage in Illinois is $8.25. T hat's a dollar more than the federal minimum wage.
But during his State of the State address earlier this week, Quinn proposed raising the minimum wage to $10.00 an hour.
That idea may sound good to some, but others across the state are having a hard time accepting what the governor has proposed.
It's your normal lunch time rush at the Hy-Vee store in Quincy. People checking out and plenty of groceries being sacked.
Hy-Vee store director Mark Lammers doesn't think an increase in the minimum wage is a good idea.
"What's tough about minimum wage going up that high is that it would limit the number of first time job seekers that you could hire. And that's what the grocery business is, a lot of kids and this is their first job and at $10 plus minimum wage, you're going to see us hire a lot less part time kids," Lammers said.
The Hy-Vee store in Quincy where Lammers is the the store director employs about 400 full-time and part-time employees. And when Quinn delivered his speech he said creating better paying jobs will inject more money in the sagging economy.
Amy Looten, the executive director of the Quincy Area Chamber of Commerce, said it's the same argument they made when Illinois raised the minimum wage in 2010 from $8 an hour to the current $8.25 an hour.
"The other thing is, it discourages the employers from expanding the workforce. You know, why would they, they've really got to have a lot of jobs for a new person to do in order to be able to pay them that kind of money," Looten said.
Illinois is already has one of the top five minimum wages in the U.S. Lammers said when the minimum wage goes up, it's inevitable the cost of products goes up as well. So he hopes lawmakers will listen constituents before making a final decision.
Right now, employees who work 40 hours a week at $8.25 an hour make a little more than $17,000 a year.
That person's income would go up to more than 20 thousand dollars a year under the proposed $10 an hour minimum wage plan.
The current federal poverty rate is $14,500 for a family of two, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
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