An Illinois Republican gubernatorial candidate has a counter-proposal to minimum wage hike proponents: let’s lower it instead.
Businessman Bruce Rauner, who polls have found to be leading the pack of Republicans seeking the nomination to challenge Gov. Pat Quinn (D), told a local radio station that he wants to see the state’s minimum wage of $8.25 an hour lowered to $7.25 an hour.
“I will advocate moving the Illinois minimum wage back to the national minimum wage,” Rauner told Illinois’s WGBZ-AM radio station according to the Chicago Sun-Times on Tuesday. “I think we’ve got to be competitive here in Illinois.”
Quinn and the Obama administration have both called for an increase in the minimum wage. Obama wants to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour and Quinn has called for raising the state’s minimum wage to $10 an hour.
Quinn’s re-election campaign was quick to shoot back at Rauner.
“Instead of alleviating poverty, this cruel and backwards proposal would take thousands of dollars from working people who are doing some of the hardest, most difficult jobs in our society,” Quinn spokeswoman Brooke Anderson said according to Sun-Times.
A November Public Policy Polling survey found Rauner leading the field of Republican candidates. That poll found Rauner with 24 percent of the vote of likely GOP candidates followed by state Sen. Bill Brady with 17 percent, and state Treasurer Dan Rutherford with 14 percent and state Sen. Kirk Dillard with 10 percent.