Lawmakers reject proposal to increase minimum wage
Lawmakers have rejected a proposal to raise the minimum wage in South Dakota. House Bill 1221 increases the minimum wage from $7.25 to 8 dollars an hour. It also adjusts the minimum wage annually based on the consumer price index. Joel Kraljic is a lobbyist for the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way. He says the purchasing power of minimum wage workers has diminished substantially. Kraljic says these people work very hard but are still living in poverty.
"All of us as taxpayers, as a society, pay the price when a minimum wage is that low because we have to fill up the difference whether its food-stamps or meals for those kids," says Kraljic.
Opponents of House Bill 1221 say it hurts small business. They say the minimum wage should be determined by the market economy.
The House Commerce and Energy committee killed the measure by a vote of 10 to 3.
By Jackelyn Severin
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