A governor is living on just a minimum wage of $79 in spending money for a week. It’s a creative way to run a campaign while attempting to experiencing the reality so many workers face.
Sun Times Early and Often reports that Illinois Governor Pat Quinn wants to raise the hourly minimum wage from $8.25 an hour to $10 an hour. To prove his point, he’s willing to reduce his spending to just $79 this week on food and other expenses. Quinn maintains that’s the amount of money someone working full-time on minimum wage has to spend after housing, commuting, and income taxes.
Quinn’s main priority in his re-election campaign against Republican opponent Bruce Rauner, is about raising the state’s minimum wage.
Rauner, on the other hand, isn’t against increasing the hourly rate as long as it’s linked to “pro-business reforms” so small businesses can absorb the cost of labor.
At the end of July, the governor announced he was set on taking the minimum wage challenge. He’s aiming to make this a ballot measure on an issue that has a lot of workers’ support in the country. This is one of the many hot button issues between Republicans and Democrats.
“Some of our hardest working men and women are living in poverty and that’s not right,” Quinn says in a written statement.
According to state records, Quinn’s salary in 2013 was $177,412.
As Atlanta Journal-Constitution adds, President Obama feels the minimum wage should increase as well, saying:
“In America today, no one who works full time should have to raise a family in poverty.”
The federal minimum wage hasn’t changed since 2009 and Democrats are really pushing the issue against the GOP.
Governor Quinn has been described as one of the least popular governors in the nation with a 31 percent support margin versus 51 percent for his political rival, Rauner.
Critics claim a higher minimum wage could force layoffs from employers unable to afford increased costs of doing business. A “Fight for $15” is currently taking place among fast-food workers who are protesting the $7.25 an hour minimum wage. This ongoing battle has gained significant momentum as more protestors join in the fight for better pay.
Will Pat Quinn increase his chances for re-election by taking a huge wage cut for one week? Some may believe that if someone is running for governor they should live on minimum wage for a certain period of time just to see how it is. For others, it won’t make a difference at all.
[Image via Chicago Tribune]