62nd House hopefuls debate minimum wage
Lake County state representative candidates Rod Drobinski and Sam Yingling separated themselves on the minimum wage issue at a Round Lake Beach forum Wednesday night.
Joining Drobinski and Yingling at the village's cultural and civic center were candidates for Lake County Board, clerk, treasurer and sheriff. The election is Nov. 4.
Drobinski, a Republican who works as Lake County gangs prosecutor, is challenging the Democratic Yingling in the 62nd House District that represents all or parts of Grayslake, Hainesville, the Round Lake communities, Lake Villa, Gurnee, Wildwood and Gages Lake.
Written questions were posed to the candidates by a League of Women Voters member at the forum, organized by the Round Lake Area Public Library, Mano a Mano and other local organizations.
One question was whether Yingling or Drobinski support the idea of raising Illinois' minimum wage from $8.25 an hour.
Yingling said the minimum wage should be boosted except for workers 18 years old or younger. He said anyone working 40 hours a week deserves enough money to live properly.
"I believe in a rising tide raises all boats," said Yingling, a Grayslake resident.
Drobinski, a Wauconda resident, said a higher minimum wage "would kill jobs." He also disputed what he claimed are attempts by opponents to portray him in favor of cutting the minimum wage from $8.25 an hour.
"That's absolutely false," Drobinski said.
Drobinski took aim at Yingling for voting for a state budget that he contends will result in more spending than revenue.
"I'm running because we don't have proper representation in the 62nd District," Drobinski said.
Yingling said he voted for a balanced state budget and that he's worked in an effort to provide relief to taxpayers.
As for the Lake County Board candidates at the forum, Republican Jeff Werfel and Democrat John Wylie are running for a District 6 seat. The district includes Grayslake and Hainesville, along with portions of Round Lake Park and Round Lake Beach.
Werfel and Wylie, who reside less than a half-mile from each other in the Prairie Crossing conservation community, are vying for the seat being vacated by retiring Democrat Pat Carey of Grayslake.
Both candidates responded to a question on what can be done to spur Lake County's economy.
Wylie, an attorney and former Prairie Crossing Charter School board member, said he'd push for creation of green energy and technology jobs.
He said promotion of Lake County-produced food also would lead to more jobs.
Werfel, a Grayslake trustee, said he would want an aggressive public-private partnership in an effort to attract and retain jobs.