The AP intervened in the Illinois governor's race yesterday, fact checking Gov. Pat Quinn's heavy criticism of GOP nominee Bill Brady's minimum wage stance. The press service correctly points out that Brady's position has switched as the campaign has progressed; initially, he told the media that he favored lowering Illinois' minimum wage of $8.25 per hour to the federal level of $7.25 per hour, but now he says the state should freeze its minimum wage rate until the lower federal figure "catch[es] up." Reporter Deanna Bellandi then whacks Quinn, who has told voters that Brady wants to cut wages, for "overstat[ing] Brady's past comments."
Although this short piece is helpful for folks just getting acquainted with the debate, we'd have liked to see the AP go even further by questioning Brady's assertion that Illinois' wage rate puts the state at a "competitive disadvantage." The Indiana Business review, studying job growth figures between 2003 and 2005, found that "Illinois' increasing minimum wage rates did not reduce overall employment growth for private employers." This tracks with national research, as well. For more context, check out our minimum wage posts here and here.