The Louisiana Senate is considering a bill to raise the the state minimum wage from $7.25 to $8.50 by 2018. The bill by State Sen. Karen Carter Peterson is a top priority for Governor John Bel Edwards.
Instead of just killing it dead the ever spineless Republicans, who supposedly run the legislature, are negotiating with Governor John Bel Edwards over how many jobs they want to kill.
From the AP:
The proposal to raise the minimum wage to $8.50 an hour, sponsored by Sen. Karen Carter Peterson, D-New Orleans, was set for a Monday (May 2) hearing in the Senate Finance Committee. But the hearing was scrapped.
Edwards spokesman Richard Carbo said the governor’s office requested a delay.
“We are still having conversations with legislators, but we will still move the bill,” Carbo said in an email. “We don’t have a date set yet.”
The proposal narrowly won support in the Senate labor committee but was sent to the Finance Committee because it would raise the pay of some state workers, carrying a price tag for the state budget.
Peterson’s bill would raise Louisiana’s minimum wage from the $7.25 per hour federal level to $8 in 2017 and $8.50 a year later.
Business groups oppose the wage hike, saying it could force companies to lay off workers because they can’t afford the higher salary costs.
The vote in the Senate labor committee split along party lines, with Democrats supporting the wage hike and Republicans opposing it. That could forecast trouble in the Finance Committee, which has a majority of GOP members.
What’s stalling the minimum wage hike is the costs to the state. It would increase the pay of some state workers because they’re either paid at or near minimum wage or their contracts are tied to the minimum wage in some way. It would cost the state nearly $250,000 in money that it does not have to enact and enforce it.
But the Republicans in the legislature should stand on principle with this one. They should make it clear they will not artificially raise costs on businesses during a recession and kill the bill.