Unions and other liberal groups are going all-in with their “Fight for 15.” Will they be successful?
There is a nationwide push to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. The federal government sets the minimum wage at $7.25 an hour, but states can mandate higher minimum wages.
With Congress in Republican control and Donald Trump in the White House, the national minimum wage is unlikely to change. However, there is movement in the states and some cities on this issue. In some places, legislation is being considered to raise the minimum wage. In other states, however, there is legislation advancing that would prohibit local governments from taking this step.
Here are some of these state and local developments:
Arizona – In Flagstaff, the minimum wage was scheduled to increase to $12 this summer. The city council recently voted to cut that increase to $10.50.
Iowa – In response to some Iowa towns mandating minimum wages above the state level, legislators passed a bill that would prevent local governments from doing this. Governor Terry Branstad signed this bill into law in late March.
Maine – State voters approved a ballot measure in 2016 to increase the minimum wage. Legislators are considering bills that would limit the impact of this increase. One would stop automatic minimum wage increases as the inflation rate goes up. Another would allow employers to pay students and minors less than the minimum wage.
Maryland – In Baltimore, the city council voted to increase the city’s minimum wage to $15. The mayor vetoed the legislation because of concerns over how it would impact city businesses.
Missouri – Legislators are considering a bill that would ban local governments from having a higher minimum wage than the state rate.
Nevada – There were dueling minimum wage increase bills in the Nevada legislature this year. One would have raised the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2022, while another would have increased it to $11 an hour. Neither bill passed.
New Hampshire – In late March, state senators voted along party lines to kill a bill that would have raised the state’s minimum wage to $12 an hour by September 2018.
North Carolina – Senate Democrats introduced legislation to raise the state’s minimum wage to $15. The bill is unlikely to be successful in the Republican-dominated legislature.
Do you support increasing the minimum wage? Or do you think it’s a good idea to keep the minimum wage at its current level?