Momentum on minimum wage, State parks on the chopping block, COLA bill moves forward, Bill could shift costs to states, incite Medicaid expansion opposition
So why do state chambers, which are usually the largest and most powerful business organizations represented in state capitols, seem so far apart from the broader business community when it comes to the minimum wage? Crosby argued that modest minimum wage hikes don’t impact the majority of chamber members, and so they actually tend to leave the issue to trade groups for retailers, hotels and restaurants, which employ most low-wage workers. “In chambers, historically, it’s more successful businesses that are in manufacturing and other higher wage industries,” Crosby says. “They tend to see themselves as the voice of business, but there are other groups that are focused on sectors that are focused on different wage mandates."
While New York and California are raising their minimum wage to $15 per hour, The Advocate’s Stephanie Grace says Louisiana legislators should give strong consideration to the much more modest wage hike being pushed by Gov. John Bel Edwards.
The governor’s not embracing mass giveaways, and in fact, he recently surprised even some of his supporters by saying he’d consider workforce training requirements for able-bodied food stamp recipients. But he is looking at the plight of his poorer constituents with compassion rather than condemnation, and that makes a big difference. Whether it will make enough of a difference is an open question. In the Legislature, employers who bristle at paying an extra $50 a week for each 40-hour employee have lobbyists to push their case. Those who work full-time for $15,000 a year, far below the poverty line for a family of four, certainly don’t. And guess which side is more likely to write a check come campaign time?
State parks on the chopping block