Op-Ed: Without LB 15 and LB 327, Valuable Entry-Level Jobs ‘Aren’t Going to Exist’

Date: April 06, 2023

‘LB 15 and LB 327…are an effort to bring a semblance of relief to the companies and local businesses who, while not the target of voters, will be the most harmed.’

LINCOLN (April 6, 2023) – “While we understand why a sharp increase in the minimum wage sounds promising, the impact of such a mandate, especially in rural areas, is much starker,” writes NFIB State Director Bob Hallstrom, executive director of the Nebraska Grocery Industry Association Ansley Fellers and president and CEO of Lincoln Independent Business Association Bud Synhorst in an op-ed for the Lincoln Journal Star. “Like most mandates, the policy hurts our local businesses: grocers, daycares, restaurants, hardware stores, salons, builders, bakeries, and the list goes on.”

CLICK HERE to read the full op-ed. Excerpts are below:

“Nebraska is a big state. The needs of its urban centers in the east are far different from the rural communities that dot the rest of the landscape. That’s one of the reasons the concept of local control is essential here. And it’s one of the reasons that statewide solutions can have unintended and far-reaching consequences.” – Journal Star editorial board opinion, Feb. 8.

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. […] Local retailers cannot simply absorb this cost. While not everyone will shutter because of the new mandate, they will be forced to stop hiring, cut positions, reduce hours of operation, cut services, increase prices or all of the above.

[…] Valuable entry-level jobs, the fun jobs, the ones where you work for caring and creative people who are willing to offer flexibility, aren’t going to exist. High schoolers looking for after-school work in small communities will be forced to drive farther, and options will be limited to a big box store or fast food. Childcare centers offering positions to high schoolers and college students will be forced to stop. […]

LB15 and LB327 do not represent efforts to undermine the initiative. […] There is no effort to dismantle the vote. There is, however, an effort to bring a semblance of relief to the companies and local businesses who, while not the target of voters, will be the most harmed.

A number of states and the federal government recognize that a youth wage encourages employers to continue hiring young people, even though they are restricted by federal law from doing the same work as an 18-year-old. […]

The people of Nebraska agreed that there should be balance between the petition process and the unicameral when they added language to the Constitution to allow two-thirds of the Legislature to amend an initiative petition. It is the role of the Legislature to make sure no one is unduly harmed by unintended, but still harmful, impacts of the initiative process.

Clearly the voters understood that for the sake of the bigger picture, there should be balance. Is it too much for our leaders to do the same?


Nebraska Initiative 433 passed on the November 8th ballot. The initiative increases the current minimum wage from $9 to $15 by 2026 and hikes the mandate according to the Midwest CPI every year after that.

Small businesses disproportionately bear the burden of this mandate. LB 15, introduced by State Senator Tom Briese (Albion), and LB 327, introduced by Jane Raybould (Lincoln) would soften the blow of Nebraska Initiative 433 and establish a youth and training wage across the state.

Subscribe For Free News And Tips

Enter your email to get FREE small business insights. Learn more

Get to know NFIB

NFIB is a member-driven organization advocating on behalf of small and independent businesses nationwide.

Learn More

Or call us today

© 2001 - 2024 National Federation of Independent Business. All Rights Reserved. Terms and Conditions | Privacy