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There’s a new a bill in Madison addressing the state’s minimum wage, and it’s no coincidence that it was introduced the same year as the 50th anniversary of the “War on Poverty.”

Democrats in Madison – Rep. Cory Mason, Racine; Sen. Bob Wirch, Kenosha; Sen. Nikiya Harris, Milwaukee; and Rep. Eric Genrich, Green Bay – introduced the bill to raise the minimum wage, albeit gradually, to $10.10 per hour. Currently, the minimum wage is $7.35 an hour.

“Wisconsin’s working families deserve a raise,” said Mason in a written release. “More and more of our nation’s wealth is going to the richest few, while the cost of gas and groceries increases, and family income stagnates. It is long past time for those at the bottom of our economic ladder to get a raise.”

The bill also indexes minimum wage to the rate of inflation, because, Wirch said had minimum wage kept up with inflation, it would already be above $10 an hour. The announcement from Mason et al cites Gallup poll that says a majority of Americans – 76 percent – support raising the minimum wage to at least $10.

Gov. Scott Walker thinks the solution lies in creating jobs that pay more than minimum wage, not creating a situation where companies won’t hire young workers.

“You don’t get that by forcing businesses to drive out young workers like I was when I started out as a kid at McDonald’s,” he told WITI Fox 6 Now. “You do that by creating jobs in manufacturing and health care and information technology — jobs that will pay far and above what the minimum wage is and even what some are proposing.”

If the bill gets signed into law, the minimum wage would increase immediately to $8.20 an hour and go up over the course of two years to $10.10 per hour.

We want to know what you think: should the Democrat’s minimum wage bill become state law? Why or why not?

One reply on “Should the Minimum Wage Go Up?”

  1. According to BLS latest report the unemployment rate has dropped to 6.7% across the nation. So if the UE rate is dropping under the current Min Wage would seem to indicate that as the UE rate drops the workers will be able to demand higher wages without waiting for the Govt (State or Federal) getting involved in the equation. Also now that it looks like we are going to stop throwing extended UE benefits at the long time unemployed..they should create a new batch of folks desperate to rejoin the work force which should keep the rate low.

    The fact is you can’t have it both ways Rep Mason. Either UE rate is low 6.7%, or it’s really higher 11.7% and in either case raising the rate at the bottom doesn’t help anybody get jobs. Maybe…just maybe when UE rate is down to 2 or 3 percent and almost everyone who wants a job has a job..then we can see if a Min Wage rate change is a good idea. (I’ll give you a won’t be needed).

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