Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Update: The House yesterday overwhelmingly passed a minimum wage increase to $7.25/hr.
If my home state of Mississippi is even considering passing a minimum wage increase, you know that you have a bona fide minimum wage wave sweeping the country.
With one lawmaker saying Mississippians shouldn’t be “cheap labor,” the state House today approved a bill that would set a state minimum wage that’s 40 percent higher than the national base of $5.15 an hour.
There is an exception: Students, regardless of age, could still be paid the federal minimum, if that figure remains lower.
Of course, this being Mississippi, home of one of the only states without a Department of Labor or state anti-discrimination law, there is still going to be a fight over whether there should be such worker-friendly legislation:
Republican Gov. Haley Barbour opposes the bill, as do several business groups.
Prospects for the state election-year proposal appear dim. The bill moves to the Senate, which is generally considered friendlier to business groups.
But shoot, Mississippi workers are some of the best paid in the country, so who needs a wage increase anyway? (Should be detecting a note of sarcasm here).
In any event, there will likely be a federal minimum wage increase this year, so all of this is somewhat moot.
Hat Tip: Megan McGrew