By Shawn Gakhal
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn announced at his State of the State Address last month that he would propose an increase of the minimum wage from $8.25 to $10.
Promising to help build the middle class, the proposal would also require companies to issue at least two paid sick days a year to employees.
Discussion of how the money would be allocated in this plan took place on Feb. 19 at Quinn’s annual budget address.
While the implications of whether or not this proposal succeeds are innumerable, it’s an issue worth paying attention to — especially for college students.
At Roosevelt University, a plethora of students try to make ends meet as they balance their lives between the fast-paced workplace industries of Chicago and the classrooms.
The Torch canvassed the student body and got vital reactions to a possible increase in the minimum wage in Illinois.
“I work off commission-based [pay], so my base pay is about six and a quarter. I make certain amounts depending on the item. I work in a nutrition store, so I’m not really affected by that all, whatsoever. I know a lot of people are really excited … but my reaction to that is that your prices are going to increase. Once your pay wage increases, everything else is going to go up. Every year, it was $7.25, then $8.25, then it was $8.50. It really has no effect on you because you’re paying more for everything else in your life anyways.”
“I think it’s good depending on what field you’re in. I feel like minimum wage should be different for each separate field. Like, in retail, I feel like $10 is fine. But for the food industry, it should be higher … especially since they took off automatic gratuity for bigger parties, so I think that should up a little bit. I would say like $12.”
“Yes, I think $10 is a good amount because I know jobs that pay that amount, and their work is much harder than mine. But I feel like if you raise it, the cost of living will also go up, so it’s just going to even out and be the same thing.”