Rauner does 180 on minimum wage

Published 01/10 2014 12:13PM

Updated 01/14 2014 12:28PM

Update: 10:01 pm, 1/10/14, Friday
SPRINGFIELD -- A candidate for governor owns up to his comments. He says he was wrong to suggest lowering the state's minimum wage.

Bruce Rauner (R) made a stop in Champaign Friday, just days after his comment raised eyebrows. Rauner now says he would be OK with raising the state's minimum wage, even OK with raising it to the $10 Governor Quinn has been pushing for.

In December, Rauner suggested the state's minimum wage should be cut back a dollar to match the federal minimum wage of $7.25. After that comment got some attention, Rauner said he meant to say the federal minimum wage should be raised to match Illinois' $8.25. When asked about it directly, Rauner admitted making a mistake.

The three other Republican candidates say they want to keep the state's wage right where it is; no raising or cutting. Governor Quinn wants to raise the rate to $10/hour, then tie it to inflation.

At Friday's stop, Rauner also brushed off claims he's out of touch because of his wealth, saying he's proud of what he earned and worked hard for. In 2012, he made $53 million. Just this week, he donated another $1 million to his campaign.
Original: 10:07 pm, 1/9/14, Thursday
SPRINGFIELD -- A candidate for governor makes a 180 this week. Republican Bruce Rauner said last month he supports cutting the state's minimum wage to create jobs. Now, he says that's not what he meant. WCIA-3's Steve Staeger keeps us Connected to the Capitol.

Rauner is clarifying by saying he wants the federal minimum wage to match up with Illinois'. Right now, the state wage is a dollar higher than the feds. But, it sounds a little different than what Rauner said last month.

"I will advocate moving the Illinois minimum wage back to the national minimum wage. I think we've got to be competitive here in Illinois."

That was Rauner during a candidate's forum in the Quad Cities last month. At the time, he seemed in favor of reducing the state's $8.25/hour wage by a dollar to match the federal wage of $7.25.

This week, he says that's not what he meant. Now, he says he wants the federal wage increased to line up with Illinois.

Rauner's campaign says he was unavailable for comment and instead, issued this statement, "Bruce is all about making the Illinois economy more competitive. In that context, he would support raising the national minimum wage so that other states are in line with Illinois."

Rauner's comments are causing a stir in an already hot debate. Three other Republicans vying for the governor's office say they don't support raising the minimum wage, but they also don't support cutting it.

Governor Pat Quinn (D) is pushing for an increase to the state's wage, which is already the highest in the country, to $10/hour.

"When you raise minimum wage, you actually help your local economy. You help create jobs. So, for those who say otherwise, they're just plain wrong."

Quinn seized the opportunity to take a political jab in an email to supporters comparing his opponent's compassions to those of a wealthy, well-known cartoon character.

Just to make this more interesting, Rauner told a Chicago TV station he would support raising the minimum wage to $10/hour, but someone's already uncovered video of him from earlier last year, stating otherwise.

We hope to ask him ourselves when his downstate bus tour travels to Champaign and Decatur Friday.

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