Kirk, Durbin opposite on minimum wage changes

Jan 29, 2014

Illinois’ U.S. Senators are taking opposite positions on President Barack Obama’s call to raise the minimum wage in last night’s State of the Union speech.  

The President says he’ll issue an executive order to raise the minimum wage to 10-dollars and 10-cents an hour for federal contract workers. And he called on Congress to make that the national norm. But Republican Senator Mark Kirk maintains that will not grow the economy.

"I think if we raise the cost of labor, we will get less of it. We need more and more labor and more and more jobs."

But Democratic Senator Dick Durbin says the GOP’s opposition to a higher minimum wage just doesn’t make sense.

"It is a weak argument. It’s never been proven. We should really trust the American people if they’re willing to go and work hard every day, they deserve a paycheck that will help them get by."

Illinois’ state minimum wage is $8.25 an hour, a dollar more than the federal mandate.  Democratic Governor Pat Quinn, who’s up for re-election, wants to raise that to at least ten dollars.