In 2003, Illinois raised the minimum wage to $6.50 an hour, but one hopeful politician says that's not good enough.
Dan Lewandowski says raising the minimum wage by at least one dollar would be one of his top priorities if elected into the state Senate. He claims the current minimum wage isn't enough to help parents provide for their family.
It is a complicated issue. Would raising the minimum wage hurt or help the economy. Those with jobs would have more cash to spend, but some small business owners contended that they wouldn't be able to pay higher wages and fewer jobs would be available. Therefore overall business would go down. Seats would be empty, and products would stay on the shelves.
Vic Brounsuzian owns Omega Nut Company in downtown Rockford.
“I understand people need more money to live, but we in turn have to have more money to live ourselves. That means I’ve got to take money out of my own pocket from my own table to put food on their table, so we are both becoming poor.”
Politicians from both sides of the issue believe the statistics support their claims, but they both agree that pumping more money into the economy is key.
Lewandowski's opponent, Dave Syverson, says the increase still won't support a family. He argues more time should be spent on bringing in higher paying jobs.