Gov. Pat Quinn says raising the minimum wage from $8.25 to $10 per hour would be good for the economy and create jobs.
The Chicago Democrat proposed the 20 percent increase during his State of the State address Wednesday.
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Republicans and business groups called the idea ill-advised and a job killer. They say businesses will leave Illinois if forced to pay more.
But during a small business tour Thursday, Quinn said workers who earn more will have more money to spend. He says that will create more jobs.
Quinn also says lawmakers must ensure everyone has an opportunity to improve their life.
Quinn spoke at the future site of Vosges Haut-Chocolat. CEO Katrina Markoff says her company pays more than minimum wage and supports the proposed increase.