It's Groundhog Day, so of course the decade-plus loop of unending attacks on minimum wage repeats again in Senate Committee
Is Bill Murray working for the Office of the Code Reviser? Because the State Senate Labor, Commerce and Sports committee is marking Groundhog Day today by continuing a more than decade-long loop of unending attempts to carve out exemptions in our state’s highly popular minimum wage law.
Today at 1:30pm in Senate Hearing Room 4, the committee is hearing testimony on:
- SB 5530, which would create a new sub-minimum wage for everyone who happens to work in any of 38 of the 39 counties in the state.
- SB 5532, which would create a new sub-minimum wage for people who work for organizations which happen to be classified as nonprofits.
- SB 5541, which would create a new sub-minimum wage for younger workers.
If the idea of a legislative hearing on bill to lower the minimum wage leaves you with that déjà vu feeling on Groundhog Day 2017, that’s because they’re just the latest in what appears to be endless loop of attempts to undermine our state’s minimum wage. You may remember:
- In 2016, there was HB 2291, which would have created a sub-minimum wage for younger workers, and for workers who received certain benefits.
- In 2015, there was SB 5422, which created a sub-minimum wage for younger workers.
- In 2014, there was HB 2614, which created a sub-minimum "training" wage.
- In 2013, there was HB 1346, which created a sub-minimum wage for workers who receive tips from customers; and SB 5275, which created a sub-minimum training wage.
- In 2012, there was HB 2498, which could have suspended inflation adjustments to the minimum wage; and HB 2497, which created a sub-minimum wage for workers who receive tips from customers.
- In 2011 there was SB 5839, which would have reduced the inflation adjustment to the minimum wage
- In 2010, there was HB 3139, which would have created a sub-minimum training wage, and SB 6534, which would have allowed reductions to the minimum wage.
- In 2009, there was HB 1928, which would have created a sub-minimum wage for younger workers.
- In 2008, there was HB 3320, which would have lowered wages for workers who receive healthcare benefits.
- Etc, etc.
With that record in mind, workers mark Groundhog Day in the only way we can: by once again moving our elected officials to defend the economic principle that everyone should be paid enough to support themselves, afford the basics, and contribute to the economy. Considering that Initiative 1433 to raise the minimum wage passed by almost 60% just a few months ago, we expect to succeed.
And like Bill Murray, we expect to be back again next year.
Happy Groundhog Day! And aren’t we due for a sequel? Or is this already the sequel?