Governor candidate makes stop in Rockford, talks jobs
Illinois jobs continue to take center stage as summer campaigns heat up for candidates for Illinois governor.
"We can't fund our schools, we can't fund our social services safety net and we can't grow the wages and the income levels for working families in Illinois because business owners and entrepreneurs are suffering," said Bruce Rauner.
Republican businessman Bruce Rauner attributes those problems to Illinois' unemployment rate. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, that number is 8.4%. In Rockford, 12%.
Rauner says regulations and taxes on manufacturers are what keeps new business from forming and old businesses from staying put. He also says there's another problem number for the state.
"Our minimum wage is higher than all the other states around us and that's helped contribute to our job losses."
Rauner does say he'd be more open to a minimum wage increase if some of those regulations were eased. Rauner's opponent, incumbent democrat, Governor Pat Quinn disagrees. He supports raising the minimum wage on a state and national scale to compensate those employees for their hard work.
Quinn touts a more positive jobs picture than what Rauner alleges. In a statement, Quinn's deputy press secretary says, "More Illinoisans are working today than 5 years ago. Since January 2010, Illinois has added $257,000 private sector jobs."
Pertaining to Rockford, Quinn's campaign says he's provided jobs through infrastructure improvements and emergency readiness like the rebuilding of the Morgan Street Bridge and the announcement of commuter rail to Chicago.