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Cabdriver restores faith in humanity

Illinois Gov. PQuinn

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn

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Updated: March 17, 2013 6:17PM

Cabdriver restores faith in humanity

Last Friday, two friends and I hailed a taxi to go to lunch in the Loop. When I went to pay my bill, I could not find my wallet. I realized I must have dropped it in the taxi. I immediately canceled my credit and debit cards and called the cab company, and I figured I’d have to get another driver’s license.

Fast forward to Monday evening. I received a letter from someone I didn’t know. Imagine my surprise when I opened it and out dropped my drivers’ license. The note included the phone number of the taxi driver who had found my wallet. I called. The next day at work, the driver returned my wallet to me. Everything, including my money, was there. I offered this kind man money, but he wouldn’t take it. His name is Kwasi Asamoah-Baffour, and he drives taxi No. 1043. This man restored my faith in the human spirit.

Antionette Sallis, Crete

Don’t change minimum wage

In his State of the State address, Gov. Pat Quinn proposed raising the minimum wage to $10 an hour, saying, “No one should work 40 hours a week and live in poverty.” Moments later he proclaimed, “We want Illinois to be the leading employer of people with disabilities.”

We cannot do both.

We at Envision Unlimited, a human services agency for people with intellectual and development disabilities, are concerned that increasing the minimum wage would make the high unemployment rate for our clients even worse. Only 22 percent of individuals with disabilities are employed, according to federal statistics.

The negative effects of raising the minimum wage reach even further.

Human service providers are reimbursed by the state at a fixed rate, per hour of service provided, and the state wouldn’t be required to raise that rate to cover the higher wage.

It would be difficult to cover this cost and jobs would be cut, adding to the unemployment rate and taking away vocational training, desperately needed by individuals with disabilities.

We ask Gov. Quinn and the General Assembly to keep the minimum wage where it is — fourth highest in the nation.

Raymond V. Janutis,

president, CEO

Envision Unlimited, Chicago

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