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Governor Quinn pushes to raise minimum wage to $10

Monday, September 02, 2013
FILE image: Pat Quinn

FILE image: Pat Quinn (WLS Photo)

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Gov. Pat Quinn is again making a push for raising the minimum wage from $8.25 to $10.

The Chicago Democrat has been visiting black churches in the Chicago area as he ramps up his 2014 re-election bid.

On Sunday, he told congregants at Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church that helping those who live in poverty is a principle as old as the Bible.

"No one in Illinois should work 40 hours a week and live in poverty," Governor Quinn was quoted in a news release from his office. "There is no better way to honor hard-working men and women across Illinois by raising the minimum wage. As we honor Illinois' workers this Labor Day, we should also remember the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who said 'it's always the right time to do the right thing'."

During his comments at the church Sunday, Quinn noted that a full-time minimum wage worker in Illinois makes around $16,600 annually, which is well below the Federal Poverty Threshold of $23,550 for a family of four.

"If we want to fight poverty, curb crime and revitalize our neighborhoods, the best way to do it is with jobs," Governor Quinn said in the release. "Increasing the minimum wage will ensure that many Illinois workers get a fair day's wages for a fair day's work and can pull themselves from poverty."

Illinois last raised the minimum wage to $8.25 in 2010. According to the news release, the Illinois minimum wage is less than half of the average U.S. hourly wage of $19.97.

The release also says by increasing the Illinois minimum wage to $10, a half-million Illinois consumers will make an extra $4,800 a year, income which can be spent at local businesses.

Quinn has been trying to revive the issue this year. He spoke about it during his State of the State address in February.

Republicans and business leaders say raising the minimum wage will kill jobs.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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