Congresswoman Pitches Minimum Wage Increase During Galesburg Visit

4-22-14 Bustos17th District Congresswoman Cheri Bustos says no individual working 40 hours a week should live in poverty.

The East Moline Democrat toured Dave’s Autobody yesterday as part of her “Cheri on Shift” initiative and to better understand the effect of a minimum wage increase on workers.
Federal representatives are considering a proposal to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour – which Bustos believes would lift 4.5 million Americans out of poverty.

She tells WGIL that there are studies suggesting job losses could happen, but they would be negligible compared to the people who are helped.

“It’s not teenagers who are being paid minimum wage,” Bustos said.  “88 percent of the people paid minimum wage are 20 years old or older.  Most of them are women.  Most of them are families that are headed by single parents.  I think this is something we need to work hard for.  My hope is that we can bring this to a vote on the House floor, and get this passed.”

In Illinois, someone working full-time will still earn wages below the federal poverty line while receiving the minimum wage.

The federal proposal would increase those wages over the course of three years.

Bustos says increasing the minimum wage at the federal level would also solve the challenge of wage variations between states.

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