Indiana Senate Democrats said their proposal to raise the state’s minimum wage by almost $3 per hour would help working-class families stay above the poverty line, but their efforts will be blocked by majority Republicans.
As reported by the Associated Press, the proposal would raise the minimum wage from the federal $7.25 per hour to $10.10 per hour.
“If you work 40 hours a week, you should not be below the federal poverty level,” bill sponsor Sen. Karen Tallian, D-Portage, said.
But Democrats are outnumbered in the state Senate and previous efforts to raise the minimum wage have been blocked by Republicans. Plus, the chairman of the committee that the bill has been assigned to says he doesn’t intend to take action on it.
“I’m a free-market guy and I think that the market sets rates and sets employee’s rates,” said Sen. Phil Boots, R-Crawfordsville and chair of the Senate Labor Committee. “Everybody is free to earn as much as they want or as little as they want.”
Twenty-nine states and Washington, D.C., have a higher minimum wage than $7.25.
Tallian said it was time for Indiana to follow suit and adjust it for an increase in the cost of living.
Republican senators believe an increase in Indiana is unnecessary, since the cost of living is much lower than the states that have chosen to go above the federal wage.
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