A few weeks back, we discussed the proposed changes in Federal minimum wage laws, as well as Louisville-Metro’s attempts to raise the minimum wage. This week we have more good news. On November 4, voters in a number of states approved ballot measures that would raise their respective state minimum wages. From the New York Times:
The wage increase won its biggest margin of victory in Alaska, where it garnered 69 percent of the vote. In Arkansas, it received 65 percent; in Nebraska, 59 percent approved raising the minimum wage, while in South Dakota, the margin was 53 percent.
The proposals differed in their particulars. Alaska would set its minimum wage the highest, with a gradual rise to $9.75 by 2016. Nebraska would go to $9 in 2016, South Dakota to $8.50 in 2015 and Arkansas to $8.50 by 2017. In Alaska and South Dakota, the minimum wage would continue to rise in line with price inflation in following years, which makes an enormous difference in the long term.
This is a promising development in the push for creating a livable wage for American workers, especially considering the political environments of the states in which these measures were passed. As more states begin reforming their wage laws, it will likely be only a matter of time before Congress is obliged to do the same with Federal law.
H/t to Workplace Prof Blog.