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MICHAEL SNEED: Gov. Pat Quinn to seek minimum-wage hike to $10 an hour

Gov. PQuinn

Gov. Pat Quinn

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Updated: March 7, 2013 10:16AM



Are our wallets about to gain weight?

Sneed has learned that Gov. Pat Quinn plans to propose an increase in the state minimum wage in Wednesday’s State of the State address, which would raise it to at least $10 an hour over the next four years.

◆ Translation: The state’s current minimum wage of $8.25 will increase if Quinn has his way.

“The governor feels very strongly that nobody should work 40 hours a week and live in poverty,” said a Sneed source familiar with Quinn’s proposal, which is similar to a bill introduced in 2011 by state Sen. Kimberly Lightford.

“It’s obvious the governor feels such an increase will be good for the economy and good for workers who drive our economic growth. So many people are struggling to make ends meet earning the basic minimum wage — and these ends never get met,” the source said.

◆ Backchat: Advocates for the increase say if the minimum wage had kept pace with inflation over the last 40 years, it would be over $10 an hour today.

◆ Backbreaker: The annual salary on Illinois’ minimum wage (assuming 40 hours per week and 4.2 weeks per month) is around $17,000.

◆ Heartbreaker: The national poverty threshold for a family of three with one child under 18 is $18,480, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

◆ $$$$ It has been argued that increasing the minimum wage leads to economic growth, and a $1 increase in minimum wage generates about $2,800 in household spending a year.

◆ Backstory: Labor officials across the state pushed for an increase in the minimum wage in late 2012.

The Hadiya tragedy . . .

This just in: A Sneed source familiar with White House scheduling claims first lady Michelle Obama will not be attending the funeral Saturday of 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton, who was shot Jan. 29 at a North Kenwood park.

The Robbins release . . .

Sex, lies and videotape: Accidentally released felon Steven Robbins may have been watching TV when he was arrested in a Kankakee home on Friday, but Sneed is told the escapee had hoped for a bigger social palette before he got caught.

◆ To wit: A Sneed source claims a relative of Robbins, who talked to him after his escape, said Robbins thought he probably would be caught — but in the meantime, “He was going to essentially party, hang out with women, smoke and drink.”

Rahm ’em . . .

Mayor Rahm “The Energizer Bunny” Emanuel, whose battery level is equal to a dozen episodes of the schpilkes, had enough time between answering curious fellow jurors’ questions while on jury duty Tuesday at the Daley Center to read about three chapters of the book “Ike’s Bluff” by Evan Thomas.

◆ Upshot: The book is about former President Dwight Eisenhower’s efforts to keep the U.S. out of any wars during his eight-year tenure in office . . . and President Barack Obama’s new hero.

Flee ’em . . .

Kate and Wills, those cute Brit royals, have fled to the quiet Island of Mustique to let the royal bump grow without the pop of paparazzi.

◆ Just in case you forgot, Mustique was the favorite escape for Will’s naughty aunt, the late Princess Margaret, who brought along a bouquet of beaus — and insisted that her guests curtsy when they exited her pool. What a minx was Margaret.

Sneedlings . . .

Michael Masters, executive director of Cook County’s Department of Homeland Security, was summoned to the White House to discuss immigration reform Wednesday with supercop Bill Bratton and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano . . . A Chicago connection!!!! It looks like outspoken Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio has become a victim of credit card fraud. Sheriff’s officials said Tuesday Arpaio’s credit-card information was stolen and used to buy $291 in groceries at a Chicago Jewel last weekend . . . Wednesday’s birthdays: Tom Brokaw, 73; Zsa Zsa Gabor, 96, and Axl Rose, 51.



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