Candidates for Duckworth seat support boost in minimum wage

  • Deborah Bullwinkel, left, Raja Krishnamoorthi and Mike Noland are candidates in the 8th Congressional District.

    Deborah Bullwinkel, left, Raja Krishnamoorthi and Mike Noland are candidates in the 8th Congressional District.

 
By Mary Hansen
mhansen@dailyherald.com

The three Democratic candidates vying to succeed Rep. Tammy Duckworth in the 8th Congressional District vary on their approach to raising the minimum wage.

State Sen. Mike Noland, businessman Raja Krishnamoorthi and Villa Park Mayor Deb Bullwinkel support raising wages from the current federal minimum of $7.25 an hour, but disagree on how and how much. Illinois' minimum wage is $8.25 an hour.

Noland said he would support a $15-an-hour federal minimum.

"Nominal wages have not kept up with inflation over the years," Noland said. "$10 an hour, which is a proposed minimum wage, is not adequate to the task of providing minimum sustenance to the average family."

Krishnamoorthi would back raising the federal minimum immediately to $10.10 and indexing the wage to the cost of living and inflation in the future.

"He'd also consider staging increases at regular intervals and having a higher minimum in urban centers depending on local conditions," said Justin Lamorte, Krishnamoorthi's campaign manager.

The Bullwinkel campaign said that she favors slowly increasing wages to $15 an hour, to give businesses time to adjust.

Income inequality has become an issue in campaigns leading up to the March 15 primary, and Noland raised the potential of a $15-per-hour minimum wage at a meeting with the Daily Herald editorial board.

Fast-food workers and some unions, like the Service Employees Union International, have been campaigning for a $15 minimum wage since 2012.

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