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Illinois Retailers Push Back Against Minimum Wage Hike

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SPRINGFIELD, IL (IRN) - In his State of the State address, Gov. Pat Quinn said he wants to raise the minimum wage to $10 an hour. This meets disagreement from organizations such as the Illinois Retail Merchants Association. That group’s executive vice president, Rob Karr, says jobs will be in jeopardy if this happens.

“Frankly, it’s bad news or worse perhaps for Illinois teens, than it is for retail. Because teens are already pushed out of the market, their unemployment rate (is) running the highest it’s run since they started recording the statistic. And it’s particularly impacting minority neighborhoods, and this is just going to make it worse,” Karr said.

Todd Maisch, the executive president of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, says the state should fix other issues first before tackling minimum wage. “We’ve already got the fourth highest minimum wage in the nation, and that’s more than enough. I mean, there ought to be some consideration to giving certain temporary relief from minimum wage until unemployment gets down to a reasonable time and I think that’s a reasonable conversation to have,” Maisch said.

The governor wants the increase to happen over the next four years.

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