Illinois minimum wage could go up, from $8.25 to $10 an hour - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Illinois minimum wage could go up, from $8.25 to $10 an hour

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QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) --People earning minimum wage in Illinois could soon be getting a significant bump in pay. The state senate delayed Wednesday's expected vote until next week, it calls for hiking the minimum wage from $8.25 to $10 an hour.

Increasing the minimum wage to $10 an hour would give Illinois the highest minimum wage in the country. But small business owners say it would be a very costly move.

While employees would welcome a higher paycheck, employers say it's not that simple.

Increasing minimum wage by $1.75 an hour would cost a business higher unemployment taxes, higher workman's comp rates and higher payroll taxes which business owners say would be passed on to the customer.

"If my employment costs go up to hire and maintain employees because it is being mandated that way then my hourly rate that I have to charge my customers has to go up," said Todd Friye, co-owner of Bergman's Nurseries.

If minimum wage goes up, business owners fear a domino effect will take place. They'll end up having to boost everyone's salaries.

"The business owner is not only going to have to deal with the new starting employees at a higher rate but then the existing employees that they want to take care of are going to also be looking for more money," said Friye.

At $8.25 an hour Illinois is one of 18 states with minimum wages higher than the national average of $7.25 an hour.

The last time rates went up was in 2010.

But some people say minimum wage still isn't high enough as people struggle to keep up with cost of living increases.

"The price of everything has gone up, food, gasoline, just plants for your garden, clothes for your kids, everything has gone up. Prices rise on other things you have to keep up with it or the people don't have anything to pay for it," said Quincy resident Mary Fairbairen.

Some employers say raising the minimum wage will make it harder on teenagers or people with less experience to find a job.

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