Bill Brady, Republican candidate for Illinois governor, said today he will move to lower the state's minimum wage if elected in November.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Brady made the remarks at a VFW convention Friday afternoon. He argued that the state should lower its minimum wage to match the minimum set by the federal government.
Illinois' minimum wage is $8.00, and will rise to $8.25 on July 1st. The federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour.
Brady's remarks come as incumbent Illinois governor Pat Quinn is traveling the state heralding the upcoming minimum wage increase and promising to defend the rights of workers.
The Tribune reports Brady's hesitant adoption of the position:
Brady, speaking after an appearance at a VFW convention, initially hedged on saying whether he would support rolling back the state minimum wage to the federal level if he becomes the state's chief executive.
"I disagree with trying to elevate the minimum wage above the federal level," he said. "The federal level is a competitive level, competing with neighboring states. We are losing jobs because private sector business investments (are) going to other states."
Pressed further, Brady acknowledged he backs bringing down Illinois' minimum wage to the federal level if it remained lower than the state rate once or if he becomes governor.
"I would support equaling, uh, adopting the federal minimum wage, yes," Brady said.
Brady has never been a huge fan of the minimum wage. As a freshman state senator in 2003, he was quoted as saying, "I think supply and demand in the marketplace determines the rate of minimum wage. I don't think governmental intrusion is as effective."
In the State House, he voted against increasing the minimum wage from $5.15 to $6.50 in 1999.
The Quinn campaign wasted no time connecting the dots. Brady "once again demonstrated his disregard for the hard-working people of our state," campaign spokeswoman Mica Matsoff told the Tribune.