Issue to Watch in 2016: Louisiana's Minimum Wage

Date: December 15, 2015

The state could see a higher minimum wage when the new governor takes office.

Louisiana faces a host of economic obstacles, including a troubling tax climate, low job growth in 2015 and a roughly $500 million budget gap. And for business owners, there may be another concern on the table in 2016: a minimum wage hike.

While no proposal has been put forth by Governor-Elect John Bel Edwards, who will take office on Jan. 11, a higher minimum wage was part of his campaign platform. Louisiana is currently one of five states without a minimum wage, defaulting to the federal minimum wage of $7.25. As reported by the New Orleans Advocate, Governor-Elect Edwards has said he would rather see Congress approve a higher federal minimum wage, instead of state legislators adopting increases, but that he would advocate for an increased state minimum if federal action isn’t taken.

NFIB/Louisiana opposes increases to the minimum wage due to the disproportionate impact on small businesses and will be monitoring any proposals put forth on this issue.

As Dawn Starns, NFIB’s Louisiana state director, told the New Orleans Advocate, “Our members are obviously operating on a thin margin. They enjoy the flexibility of being competitive in the market they are in….Every state economy is different. Businesses pay what they can.”

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