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Should the minimum wage go up for hourly workers to $10.10 per hour? Residents in the City of Racine will answer that question in November with an advisory referendum, and activists outside Congressman Paul Ryan’s office in the city last week called on him to support a federal mandate for the increase.
Citizens Action of Wisconsin drove home their support for the increase by bringing $114 worth of groceries, according to a story in The Journal Times. The bags of food represent, the group says, how much food someone earning minimum wage could afford if that amount goes from the current $7.25 an hour to $10.10.
Ryan recently released a new action plan to help the nation’s working poor and families living in poverty, but it does not include a minimum wage increase. In an email to the newspaper, the congressman said an increase could cost the country up to a half-million jobs and suggested that “corporate welfare” be cut instead.
Rep. Cory Mason, D-Racine, has introduced a bill in Madison that would raise the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour in steps over the next two years; to $8.20 immediately.
In addition to Racine’s referendum, citizens in the City of Milwaukee and Kenosha County will also let lawmakers in November know where they stand on the issue.
Advisory referendums are not binding.