Iowans today called on Governor Kim Reynolds and the Iowa Legislature to raise the minimum wage during the upcoming legislative session. The Iowa minimum wage was last raised in 2008, and has remained at $7.25 since that time. A petition contacting Iowa’s elected officials can be found by clicking here: http://progia.us/raisethewage
On January 1st, the minimum wage increased in 18 states across the country, while Iowans continued to wait. And since 2008, the federal minimum wage was increased to $7.25 in 2009, 5 of Iowa’s 6 neighboring states have increased their minimum wage, and several counties in Iowa passed minimum wage increases before they were pre-empted by the 2017 legislature.
“Politicians like to talk big about improving wages, but last year the legislature literally voted to lower wages,” said Matt Sinovic of Progress Iowa. “With Iowa’s low unemployment rate, the problem isn’t a lack of jobs, it’s a lack of good-paying jobs and the workers to fill them. Raising the minimum wage would make it easier to keep workers in Iowa, and boost the local economy. It’s time for Governor Reynolds and Republicans in the legislature to not only talk the talk, but take action to raise wages.”
“Small businesses across the state have said time after time that their top need is more customers – the best way for that to happen is when Iowans have more money to spend,” said Sue Dinsdale, director of the Main Street Alliance of Iowa, a coalition of small business owners. “Iowa businesses know that when the minimum wage goes up, they see a boost in sales and it has an impact on main street by being spent locally. Our elected officials should listen to small business and raise the minimum wage.”
“Ten years after Iowa raised its minimum wage to $7.25, 29 states — including all our neighbors except Wisconsin — have gone higher, and so have costs for low-wage workers,” said Mike Owen, executive director of the Iowa Policy Project. “Raising the wage in steps to $12 would benefit more than 400,000 Iowa workers. Along with action to stop wage theft and to improve child care assistance, an Iowa minimum wage increase could help more families find a spot on the ladder of opportunity.”
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