Durbin, Callis push for unemployment benefits and increased minimum wage during community center tour



DECATUR--  After wrapping up a tour of Old Kings Orchard Community Center, Senator Dick Durbin and 13th District congressional hopeful Ann Callis made their latest pitch for the extension of unemployment benefits and an increased minimum wage.
 
“This used to be a bipartisan issue, extending unemployment benefits, but within the last few years, unfortunately, it’s become very partisan.  5 times under President Bush we agreed to extend unemployment benefits with no issue at all, all 5 times it was talked about I voted for them, and sadly, for some reason now, it’s not that way anymore,” Durbin said after wrapping up the tour.  Nationally 1.4 million people saw their unemployment benefits eliminated after an agreement couldn’t be reached in Washington at the end of 2013.
 
Macon County currently has one of the highest unemployment rates in the state, and the nation, and at nearly 12%, it’s almost double the national rate of 6.7%, “We are making a recovery but there are some places where the recovery is slower than in others, our national unemployment rate may be 6.7%, our state 8.7% but it’s over 12% right here in Decatur so when you start cutting off those unemployment benefits you’re hurting a lot of people here right at home,” Durbin said.
 
In her short time on the campaign trail to challenge incumbent Rodney Davis for the 13th district congressional seat Callis says she has constantly heard one message, “People are always telling me how they are struggling finding work, how even if they have work they aren’t making enough to support their family on their minimum wage salary.”
 
Illinois minimum wage, at $8.25 is higher than the national minimum wage average of $7.25, but Durbin still says making a push for $10 still make sense, “At $8.25 we have a minimum wage rate that is slightly higher than the national average, but ask yourself, do you think you could raise a family with those kinds of funds?”
 
Durbin said he doesn’t feel confident in the ability of either an unemployment benefit extension or an increased minimum wage to get called this spring, as both measures failed to gain any traction in Congress last fall, “I don’t think that the Speaker of the House will call either bill, we have had multiple discussions about it and he refuses to do it.  Despite that, we still need to do our jobs in the Senate, we can call and pass a bill that we believe will benefit the American people, then it will be up to the House to move on it.”
 
Durbin is running for his 4th term as US Senator and is going to face a Republican challenger in either Jim Oberweis or Doug Truax in November.  Truax and Oberweis will face a primary election this coming March.
 
Callis is one of many challengers vying to run against Rodney Davis for the 13th district seat.  Callis is facing a primary against David Green and University of Illinois physics professor, George Gollin.  On the replubican side, Davis is facing off in a primary against Erika Harold and Michael Firsching.DECATUR--  After wrapping up a tour of Old Kings Orchard Community Center, Senator Dick Durbin and 13th District congressional hopeful Ann Callis made their latest pitch for the extension of unemployment benefits and an increased minimum wage.
 
“This used to be a bipartisan issue, extending unemployment benefits, but within the last few years, unfortunately, it’s become very partisan.  5 times under President Bush we agreed to extend unemployment benefits with no issue at all, all 5 times it was talked about I voted for them, and sadly, for some reason now, it’s not that way anymore,” Durbin said after wrapping up the tour.  Nationally 1.4 million people saw their unemployment benefits eliminated after an agreement couldn’t be reached in Washington at the end of 2013.
 
Macon County currently has one of the highest unemployment rates in the state, and the nation, and at nearly 12%, it’s almost double the national rate of 6.7%, “We are making a recovery but there are some places where the recovery is slower than in others, our national unemployment rate may be 6.7%, our state 8.7% but it’s over 12% right here in Decatur so when you start cutting off those unemployment benefits you’re hurting a lot of people here right at home,” Durbin said.
 
In her short time on the campaign trail to challenge incumbent Rodney Davis for the 13th district congressional seat Callis says she has constantly heard one message, “People are always telling me how they are struggling finding work, how even if they have work they aren’t making enough to support their family on their minimum wage salary.”
 
Illinois minimum wage, at $8.25 is higher than the national minimum wage average of $7.25, but Durbin still says making a push for $10 still make sense, “At $8.25 we have a minimum wage rate that is slightly higher than the national average, but ask yourself, do you think you could raise a family with those kinds of funds?”
 
Durbin said he doesn’t feel confident in the ability of either an unemployment benefit extension or an increased minimum wage to get called this spring, as both measures failed to gain any traction in Congress last fall, “I don’t think that the Speaker of the House will call either bill, we have had multiple discussions about it and he refuses to do it.  Despite that, we still need to do our jobs in the Senate, we can call and pass a bill that we believe will benefit the American people, then it will be up to the House to move on it.”
 
Durbin is running for his 4th term as US Senator and is going to face a Republican challenger in either Jim Oberweis or Doug Truax in November.  Truax and Oberweis will face a primary election this coming March.
 
Callis is one of many challengers vying to run against Rodney Davis for the 13th district seat.  Callis is facing a primary against David Green and University of Illinois physics professor, George Gollin.  On the replubican side, Davis is facing off in a primary against Erika Harold and Michael Firsching.

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