A Brief Look At Some Of The Action Across The Nation
While legislation to raise the minimum wage
remains stalled at the federal level, there remain numerous attempts to raise
it at the state and local levels. Here are some recent developments of note:
Louisiana Senate Kills Wage Hike Bill.
Louisiana state senators on the Labor Committee Thursday voted down a bill to
call for a statewide referendum on raising the minimum wage to $9.50 an hour.
State business groups argued against the measure, which would have exempted
small businesses. The move is expected to end debate on the issue for the
current legislative session.
The AP runs a story on the piece.
Michigan Republican Looks To Short-Circuit
Wage Referendum. In Michigan, a number of groups are attempting to collect
the 258,088 signatures necessary to place a minimum wage increase on the
November ballot. The proposal would raise the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour by
2017, and also increase the minimum wage for tip-earners to that rate from the
current $2.65 level. On Thursday, state Sen. Rick Jones (R) announced that he
is working on legislation to raise the current $7.40 minimum to $8.15, while
also giving tip-earners a 10 cent increase to $2.75. In comments reported by
the Detroit Free Press, Jones said, “My intent is to stop the ballot initiative
because of the crushing blow it would deal to Michigan restaurants. A lot of
good friends work as waiters and waitresses, and they don’t want these jobs to
go away. A typical restaurant in my district would lose $250,000 a year, which
would result in massive layoffs or closing the restaurants.”
News, the Detroit
and the AP.
No Agreement Reached By Group Developing
Seattle’s $15 Wage Plan. Washington State already has the highest minimum
wage of any state in the nation, $9.32 an hour, and Seattle is considering
raising its wage further to $15 an hour. Mayor Ed Murray (D) has formed a
24-person advisory group to come up with a plan on how it would be phased in,
along with how it will impact different sized businesses. However, the advisory
group has been unable to agree on a plan, and Murray has said that he will
present his own plan if that continues. Meanwhile, pro-wage-hike groups are
considering pushing a ballot initiative if they feel Murray’s proposal has too
many exceptions, while business leaders have indicated they are also
considering their own ballot initiative.
The AP and the Seattle
both report on the issue.
NFIB opposes any effort to increase the
federal minimum wage because small businesses are the least able to absorb such
a dramatic increase in their labor costs. Read our Key Vote letter opposing S. 2223.