* Bruce Rauner isn’t the only Republican who’s attempting a post-primary pivot…
State Sen. Jim Oberweis (R-Sugar Grove), who is challenging U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin in the November election, has reversed his stance on the minimum wage, and unveiled his own plan to raise it to $10 per hour over three years for adult workers.
Oberweis opposed President Barack Obama’s plan to raise the national minimum wage to $10.10 per hour — a plan Durbin supports — before the Republican primary last month, but now has proposed a gradual increase in the minimum wage in Illinois.
His proposal would hike the state’s minimum wage for those who are 26 or older from $8.25 per hour to $9 per hour next year, then again to $9.50 per hour in 2016, and $10 per hour in 2017. The minimum wage for workers between the ages of 18 and 26 would stay at the current rate of $8.25 per hour; for those under 18, it would stay at $7.75 per hour.
The proposal would also bar municipalities from increasing local minimum wages above the state wage.
“Some are concerned. Some acknowledge that this is a workable compromise,” the state senator from Sugar Grove said. “I will be working with business leaders and with lawmakers from both sides of the aisle to make a minimum-wage increase possible without the very real economic harm that other minimum-wage proposals could cause.”
In targeting only older workers, Oberweis said he is being sensitive to “the difficulty working men and women face when trying to support their families.”
A Durbin aide condemned Oberweis’ plan because it would relegate a large swath of full-time workers to poverty.
“Sen. Durbin believes that no one who gets up and works hard on a full-time basis should live in poverty, but state Sen. Oberweis clearly disagrees,” Durbin spokesman Ron Holmes said. “The sad reality is that if Sen. Oberweis has his way the folks that are out there on the front lines doing the tough jobs will continue to struggle.”
* From the College Democrats of Illinois…
The College Democrats of Illinois is denouncing Oberweis’ plan as being anti-student and anti-young adult. Many students across the state are already struggling to afford their education and rely on minimum wage jobs to help put themselves through school. Many other young adults are already financially independent long before they turn 26. Oberweis is choosing to oppose student interests, while running against U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) who has spent his career as a continuous supporter of students and those trying to earn a living on minimum wage.
“Oberweis’ plan works against students and young adults across the state of Illinois. In a state with over 80 college campuses, it’s appalling that a candidate for U.S. Senate would introduce minimum wage legislation that leaves out young people,” said Brexton Isaacs, President-elect of the College Democrats of Illinois. “Unlike Jim Oberweis, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) has continued to support Illinois students and raising the minimum wage for all residence of Illinois, and we are proud to continue to show him our support.”
* There’s been no react from Illinois Review as of yet. You gotta wonder what they think of their current situation. They have a pro-choice gubernatorial candidate and a US Senate candidate pushing for a minimum wage hike. They did, however, link to this story…
Sen. Dick Durbin (D., Ill.), who is leading the Equal Pay Day push by Senate Democrats to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, pays women on his staff far less than he pays men.
Durbin took to the Senate floor on Tuesday to preach on the importance of passing legislation aimed at solving the gender pay gap.
“How serious is equal pay for equal work to working people across America?” said Durbin, “I think it’s critical.”
The average female salary is $11,505 lower than the average male salary in Durbin’s office, according to an analysis of Senate salary data from fiscal year 2013 that showed that more than two-thirds of Democratic Senate offices pay men more than women.
Four of the five highest paid staffers on Durbin’s staff are men, according to the analysis.
* Other stuff…
* Oberweis likely to leave dairy if he wins Senate seat
* Oberweis, Kaifesh To Speak At Tax Day Tea Party Event