Governor Willing to Consider Minimum Wage Hike

Date: February 02, 2016

NFIB/Iowa says raising the minimum wage will only hurt businesses and kill jobs.

Governor Willing to Consider Minimum Wage Hike

The Iowa governor’s willingness to consider raising the state’s minimum wage could mark the beginning of a contentious legislative session with serious consequences for small businesses.

Gov. Terry Branstad said last month he might support raising the state’s minimum wage, depending on the amount, if such a bill reached his desk during the legislative session.

“I don’t want to do something that’s going to cost people jobs,” Branstad told The Gazette newspaper. “We’ve tried to focus bringing more good paying jobs to the state of Iowa, focusing on attracting industry and business that will pay good higher wages and things like that rather than focusing on what the floor should be.”

However, NFIB/Iowa State Director Kristin Failor said in a statement that the last thing Iowa small businesses need is “yet another government mandate increasing the cost to do business.”

“Minimum wage jobs have never been the engine to feed a family, and the fact that the governor has succumbed to the progressive notion that an increase will somehow improve our economy is dumbfounding,” she said.

State lawmakers battled over a minimum wage increase issue last legislative session, when the Senate voted 27-22 to boost the minimum wage from $7.25 to $8.75 an hour. The measure was blocked by the House. Johnson County, however, has voted to raise it to $10.10 an hour by 2017.

Rather than hiking the minimum wage and reducing the number of jobs, NFIB/Iowa suggests trimming the number of state regulations and improving the tax structure so small business can afford to pay employees a higher wage.

Business owners who want to pay above the state’s minimum wage already do, Failor pointed out. Mandating an increase puts an unfair burden on small businesses and entrepreneurs.

“Those that cannot afford to pay more will be driven out of business, and when they close up shop, they’ll take the jobs they were offering our community with them,” she said.

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