Rockford lawmakers react to minimum wage increase - – Rockford’s News Leader

Rockford lawmakers react to minimum wage increase


Locally, our lawmakers in Springfield representing the Rockford area aren't sold on the idea of bumping up the current pay close to 20%.

The area has a handful of elected officials in Springfield.

Those we spoke to earlier, aren't crazy about a minimum wage increase.

"Nobody in Illinois should work 40 hours a week and live in poverty," said Illinois Governor Pat Quinn.  "Over the next four years, we must raise the minimum wage to at least $10 an hour."

That comment from Governor Pat Quinn gets applause on the floor of the Illinois House.  He presents the possibility, minimum wage workers statewide could make more money.

It's unlikely that any of those applauding, were from the Rockford area.

One of our local senators, Dave Syverson and all four local representatives put on the brakes when asked if they'd support the initiative.

"It does not help our jobs situation and if anything I think we continue to see some small decreases in the number of younger workers who are at the minimum wage level," said Rep. Joe Sosnowski.

"I think those jobs are more reserved for high school students, college students.  I think they could live with the current situation," said Rep. Chuck Jefferson.

Sosnowski can even see the move adding to an already dismal jobs situation.

"Naturally, if they can only spend so much on wages they'll have to trim back work force or trim back hours a little bit."

Freshman Senator Steve Stadelman hasn't made his mind up yet.

"I want to talk to the local business community and see what the impact would be.  It's a debate I'm looking forward to having and looking at the ramifications in the months ahead before I give a definite stand on that issue, one way or the other."

Those others against the idea, representatives Jim Sacia and John Cabello.

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