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Quinn, Actor Martin Sheen Push Minimum Wage Boost

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Actor Martin Sheen joined Gov. Pat Quinn in Chicago to voice his opinion on raising Illinois' minimum wage to at least $10.

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Gov. Pat Quinn got some Hollywood star power as he pushes to raise the minimum wage in Illinois.

The Chicago Democrat appeared Thursday morning with actor Martin Sheen to press to raise Illinois' $8.25 minimum wage to at least $10 by the end of the year. Sheen is best known for his roles in "Apocalypse Now" and "The West Wing."

"I've been an actor all my life, that's what I do for a living," Sheen said, "but activism is what I do to stay alive and this is a reflection of my activism. This is far less a political issue than a moral one."

Quinn's push has coincided with a national Democratic effort. The federal minimum wage is $7.25.

"If you work 40 hours a week and do things right, you shouldn't have to live in poverty," Quinn said. "That's a fundamental principle we all believe in, and we want to do something about it."

Quinn has made increasing the minimum wage a big part of his platform as he seeks another term, saying the increase is about "dignity and decency."

His opponents say the boost would hurt businesses and prompt them to lay off workers. Quinn said Thursday workers would spend the extra money, boosting the economy.

"We are going to do it in Illinois and show the whole country how to do it," he said.

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