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Job-killing Minimum Wage Hike Already Introduced

Less than 24 hours after taking the oath of office for the 2015-17 legislative session, Democrat Rep. Cory Mason introduced a job-killing bill to force a minimum wage hike on all employers in Wisconsin. In addition to simply raising the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour, which according to the Employment Policies Institute could kill as many as 28,000 jobs in Wisconsin, Mason’s bill also indexes the minimum wage to increase annually going forward.
The bill also contains a provision to undue an important protection we have in Wisconsin that currently stops municipalities from enacting their own minimum wages. Around the country, liberal cities have been unwisely raising the mandated wage within their city borders, hurting their own residents and employers by giving a competitive advantage to businesses in neighboring municipalities. For instance, last year Seattle passed a $15 minimum wage backed by the SEIU labor union. In Wisconsin we’ve been able to largely avoid this city-by-city fragmenting of wage ordinances due to a compromise signed by Governor Jim Doyle almost a decade ago. That compromise raised the minimum wage statewide at the time, but also pre-empted local municipalities from enforcing their own minimum wage ordinances.
If that protection is undone as Mason proposes, we’ll likely see some cities in Wisconsin pass wage ordinances much higher than the statewide minimum wage. Businesses in those cities will then have to decide – do they raise their prices in order to cover the higher wages, move to a different city, or cut their workforce. None are good options, and all hurt the very low-income people the SEIU and politicians like Rep. Mason claim to be trying to help.
WMC Staff Contact: Chris Reader




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