Raising the minimum wage has been a hot topic lately at all levels of government. President Obama wants it to increase for the whole country. Rahm Emanuel wants $13 an hour. And Gov. Pat Quinn has made a $10 minimum wage a pillar of his re-election campaign.
Back in December at a candidate forum in the Quad Cities during the Republican primary race, Quinn's gubernatorial opponent Bruce Rauner said he favored reducing Illinois' $8.25-an-hour minimum wage to the federally mandated $7.25 minimum.
No sooner did those remarks become public -- generating swift backlash from nearly all sides -- than Rauner backtracked. His campaign first said Rauner would favor increasing the state minimum wage if the federal minimum wage also went up. Now he says he would support raising the Illinois minimum wage if business reforms were passed to go along with it.
But a new Quinn campaign ad says Rauner wants to lower the minimum wage.
Rauner spoke about his new thoughts on the minimum wage at the Municipal Planning Council lunch Thursday, made just as the new ad began to be broadcast. The verdict? He does not want to cut the minimum wage. See the video of Rauner speaking about the minimum wage in Illinois Thursday at Reboot Illinois.
Quinn also is facing election woes over dealing with a union after layoffs of Illinois Department of Transportation employees, a situation that State Journal-Register columnist Bernard Schoenburg compares to a time when now-jailed-for-corruption Gov. Rod Blagojevich also laid off state workers en masse, a comparison that could be very concerning for Quinn. What does it mean that the same lawyers who represented those workers 10 years ago are now representing these?