Raise The Minimum Wage?
Once we get done talking about divisive social issues at the Statehouse, it’s time for a serious conversation about raising the minimum wage for Indiana workers.
Behold, the latest Gallup polling results on the issue:
WASHINGTON, D.C. — With momentum building at the federal and state level to increase hourly base pay, more than three-quarters of Americans (76%) say they would vote for raising the minimum wage to $9 per hour (it is currently $7.25) in a hypothetical national referendum, a five-percentage-point increase since March. About one-fifth (22%) would vote against this.
This doesn’t have to be a partisan issue (it clearly isn’t if you look at the poll breakdown, and New Jersey voters approved a $1 increase last week by roughly the same overwhelming margin they re-elected Republican Gov. Chris Christie), but it should be a priority for Indiana Democrats.
As a party, we’ve always been advocates for those with less, the folks left behind by a system that sometimes forgets we have a shared duty to every Hoosier, not just to those who already have access to opportunity. What better way to show that commitment than to make sure that our minimum wage is closer to a livable wage? (For someone working full-time, an increase to $9 per hour would mean around $300 per month more before taxes.)
As an Indiana Democrat, this issue represents a much-needed chance for us to promote a policy idea that will help build a stronger middle class. Even if the proposal goes nowhere in the short term, it’s a conversation we should lead.