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Oberweis Sponsors Minimum Wage Bill with Age Restriction

Illinois Radio Network
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Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (IRN/CAPITOL BUREAU) – One Illinois State Senator is proposing a bill that would raise the minimum wage in that state.

Republican Senator Jim Oberweis, also a U.S. Senate nominee, sponsors a bill to raise it to $10 an hour by the year 2017, but only for those 26 years or older. For those 25 and younger, minimum wage would remain at $8.25 an hour.

“Minimum-wage jobs are not meant to be jobs that would feed a family of four or anything of that nature,” Oberweis says. “No matter how many hours you work, it wouldn’t make sense. They’re meant to be entry-level jobs.”

He believes that raising the minimum wage for all age levels would kill about a half-million jobs.

“When companies hire 16-, 17-, and 18-year-olds for their first job, arguably the kids getting those jobs ought to be working for nothing, because they’re getting the experience and they’re learning how to get better jobs,” says Oberweis. “I’m making an extreme statement, that’s partly a joke, of course.”

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin is against the idea, saying that it would keep a lot of low-wage workers in poverty.

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