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State

Illinois merchants against raising minimum wage

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Retail Merchants Association and Illinois Chamber of Commerce are against raising the state's minimum wage.

Gov. Pat Quinn proposed raising Illinois' minimum wage from $8.25 to $10 an hour. He made the announcement during his annual State of the State speech on Wednesday.

The merchants association represents more than 23,000 stores. President David Vite says raising the state's minimum wage will hurt people looking for jobs and employers. He says instead Quinn and lawmakers should focus on the state's budget crisis and pension problems.

The chamber says raising the minimum wage is "an untimely, ill-advised and outrageous proposal."

Quinn says nobody should work 40 hours a week and live in poverty. The federal rate has been $7.25 an hour since 2007.

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