Is state's minimum wage too high? Yes, some Republicans say

  • Andy McKenna said Illinois' high minimum wage,

    Andy McKenna said Illinois' high minimum wage, "is a problem." Associated Press

Published: 12/4/2009 2:23 PM | Updated: 1/15/2010 6:57 PM

Cutting Illinois' minimum wage is increasingly becoming a key proposal by Republican candidates for governor as they push ideas to help the state's economy.

Voters are not likely to hear that in campaign mailers or TV ads, but when pressed for their plans on job creation, several GOP candidates turn to reducing the lowest amount employers are allowed to pay workers.

The latest entry to the fold is Andy Mckenna, a Chicago business owner and former head of the Illinois Republican Party. He told WBBM's At Issue program on 780 AM Friday that Illinois' high minimum wage, which is nearly $1 more than the federal limit, "is a problem."

"What we need is higher wages, not higher minimum wages," said McKenna, who is president of Schwarz Supply Source, a large supply chain management company.

The current minimum wage in Illinois is $8 and it is set to rise a quarter after July 1, 2010. The federal minimum wage is $7.25.

McKenna argues that reducing the wage will allow small businesses to hire more people.

Other Republican candidates to support reducing the minimum wage include former Illinois Attorney General Jim Ryan of Elmhurst and Hinsdale businessman Adam Andrzejewski.

Other candidates in the GOP primary for governor include state Sen. Kirk Dillard of Hinsdale, DuPage County Board President Bob Schillerstrom of Naperville and conservative commentator Dan Proft of Chicago.

At Issue on WBBM 780 am will air at 9:30 p.m. on Sunday.