Governor Candidate Rauner Talks Minimum Wage

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By Stephanie Tyrpak
By Randy Livingston

CARBONDALE --  The minimum wage is a hot topic in politics. Governor Quinn wants Illinois to raise the pay rate. His Republican opponents are against that move, including one who has reportedly proposed going in the opposite direction.

 "I just can't sit back and watch while our state continues to deteriorate," said Bruce Rauner. "We're the worst run state in America."
 
Rauner brought his message to Carbondale on Tuesday. He's traveling by bus to meet with voters around the state.
 
"We call it the shake up tour, shake up Springfield," said Rauner. 
 
The venture capitalist turned candidate says education and the economy are his top priorities. He believes his years of executive experience will help him as governor.
 
"We need to run the state more like a business," said Rauner. "Have it be efficient, and effective, transparent. Reduce the spending, reduce the taxes."
 
A piece of that plan involves Rauner's stance on the Illinois minimum wage. It's currently at $8.25 an hour. Rauner has reportedly told other media he'd be willing to lower it by a dollar to the federal level of $7.25 an hour.
 
He did not commit to that idea when News 3 asked him about the issue. 
 
"One of the things we should look at is how competitive the state of Illinois is," said Rauner. "But what we should really do is be comprehensive in our approach."
 
Rauner went on to say he understands that lowering the wage would hurt some people.
 
"We should only do that in the context of dramatically improving our schools and creating a business environment where everybody's got jobs, so we don't have such a brutally high unemployment rate," said Rauner. 
 
He's also not absolutely against raising the rate in the future if the state becomes more welcoming to business.
 
"If we raise it, we should do that along with changing our labor regulations and tax burden on businesses so we have a booming economy," said Rauner. 
 
Critics have pointed out that Rauner had an income of $53 million in 2012. The candidate made more in an HOUR than a minimum wage worker made all year.
 
Rauner has his own plan for getting people higher wages. He talked about wanting to get the state economy to a point where people can choose from multiple job opportunities and great education.
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