Minimum Wage Debate Continues

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Some local business owners say they'll also be in the hole, if Illinois governor Pat Quinn gets his way. He wants to raise minimum wage to $10 an hour.

Bookworm Bakery owner Rhiannon Stanuch says she's watching her dough in and out of the kitchen.
“This has been nationally the hardest year for restaurants and in our area it has been incredibly tough," said Stanuch.

Stanuch pays her employees minimum wage, $8.25 an hour and says she can't afford to pay them more.
Illinois already has one of the highest rates in the nation, but it's not enough for Governor Pat Quinn, who wants to raise it to $10 an hour.

"No one in Illinois should work 40 hours a week and live in poverty. It's something I do have to think about"
“All Paws" pet groomer and owner Angie Johnson, knows firsthand about making cuts, although she has a small staff.

The local owner says she's willing to pay more for stronger employees.

"If people are making a little more money, you are going to get a better employee they are going to want to stay here and support business with you,” said Johnson.

Owners like Stanuch say the increased rate would become icing on the cake, when it comes to an already tight budget.

Illinois Senator Dave Syverson says the plan will hurt our state considering there could be a lot of union and other contracts tied to the rate. I talked to more than 20 local businesses today, many who say they would love to pay their employees more, but it just isn't possible right now.

A proposal to raise the minimum wage came up in the state senate last year but wasn't called for a floor vote.


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