Oberweis backs Ill. minimum wage 'compromise'

SPRINGFIELD — Illinois Sen. Jim Oberweis is introducing legislation to raise the minimum wage in Illinois for some workers.

The Sugar Grove Republican's proposal would gradually increase the minimum wage from $8.25 to $10 an hour by 2017. But the changes would only apply to workers who are 26 and older.

Oberweis is running against U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, who has backed a federal Democratic effort to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour. Republicans have generally opposed the federal increase pushed by the president.

In a statement, Oberweis says his legislation is a compromise that wouldn't tax business owners. But he acknowledges reaction so far has been "mixed."

Durbin's office tells the Chicago Sun-Times that the proposal doesn't help enough people since it excludes younger workers.