The best anti-poverty program is a job that pays a living wage. But here in Louisiana, far too many workers are struggling to afford basic needs because their jobs don’t pay enough. Senate Bill 162 would address this by requiring that workers be paid at least $8.50 per hour starting in 2020. At a time when 42 percent of Louisiana households are financially struggling, this simple policy change can boost local economies by giving hundreds of thousands of hard-working Louisianans what they need most: a raise.
Although it only allows for a modest increase in earnings for workers in low-wage jobs, SB 162 would have a substantial impact on working families in Louisiana:
Research suggests that modest increases in the minimum wage will have no negative effect on jobs. In fact, a minimum wage increase would pump $159 million dollars in additional wages into the state’s economy each year by giving workers more money to spend at local businesses, which could in turn lead to job creation.