Bruce Rauner is not the only Republican candidate for governor who is changing his position on minimum wage. Other candidates are attacking Rauner for comments made last month at a forum in Moline where he said he’d “advocate moving the Illinois minimum wage back to the national minimum wage.” Rauner now claims he supports moving the national wage up to as much as $10 per hour, the same amount proposed by Gov. Pat Quinn.
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State Sen. Bill Brady (R-Bloomington) says that switch is confusing voters. “Frankly, I don’t anyone really knows where Bruce Rauner stands on the issue,” Brady said. Brady, however, favored lowering the state’s minimum wage to the federal level when he ran for governor in 2010. At a VFW convention in June of 2010, Brady said, “I would support equaling, uh, adopting the federal minimum wage, yes.”
When asked about those comments Thursday, Brady said that’s not the same as what Rauner was advocating. “What I’m saying is we should put a moratorium on lifting the minimum wage until the federal level catches up. I’ve been pretty clear about that. Not pretty, I’ve been very clear, but I would not cut the minimum wage nor would I raise the minimum wage.”
State Sen. Kirk Dillard (R-Hinsdale) has also attacked Rauner’s position, comparing to Mitt Romney’s “47 percent” comments during the 2012 presidential election. At the same forum in Moline December, Dillard seemed to advocate getting rid of the minimum wage altogether.
“I am a, what I guess is known as a Jeffersonian free market principled guy, and I believe that the marketplace ought to set everything, including the minimum wage,” Dillard said.
Dillard now claims what he meant was the minimum wage may need to be set according to different standards. “I am for leaving the minimum wage in Illinois where it is,” Dillard said during a phone interview today. “I am clearly open to whether we have an inflation factor for inflation over time in the minimum wage. But in the perfect world, the free market would set the minimum wage, but I’m not for rolling back the minimum wage like Mr. Rauner is.”
Dillard, Brady, and State Treasurer Dan Rutherford all say that the state’s minimum wage should stay where it is.