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Universities worry about minimum wage increase

Southern Illinois University

Officials at Illinois’ public universities worry that an increase in the minimum wage could hit their already tight budgets.

State Sen. Kim Lightford has sponsored a bill that would raise Illinois’ minimum wage from $8.25 an hour to $10.

But at Southern Illinois University President Glen Poshard tells the Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises newspapers that will cost the school $3.2 million a year in additional wages. And that comes at a time when the Illinois General Assembly could be considering cuts in money for higher education.

Illinois State University officials say raising the minimum wage could cost their school about $1.6 million. More than 4,000 student workers there currently earn the minimum wage.

Lightford is a Maywood Democrat. She says the current minimum wage just isn’t enough. (AP)

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