INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Some Indiana Democrats want to raise the state’s minimum wage, which hasn’t happened in more than a decade.
Indiana’s minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. On Tuesday, Indiana Senate Democrats renewed a call to boost the state’s minimum wage. State Sen. J.D. Ford of Indianapolis said that conditions during the coronavirus pandemic aren’t optimal for a $7.25-an-hour job.
State Sen. Shelli Yoder, the assistant minority caucus chair, said Wednesday in a virtual briefing, “Some Hoosiers are being forced to decide between paying their utility bills or feeding their families. That’s a state that only works for the rich. We’re here today to advocate for a state that works for working people. Hoosiers need living wages so that folks can afford their everyday lives.”
Indianapolis worker Ellianna Weick earns around $11 an hour working as a barista and a nanny. “I think they definitely should raise it because the cost of living is already high enough.”
Senate Democrats want to incrementally raise Indiana’s minimum wage to $15 an hour. State Sen. Eddie Melton has proposed legislation to do just that.
“My legislation didn’t receive a hearing. Senate Republicans simply refused to hold a hearing on a bill that would have brought better opportunities to more than 890,000 Hoosiers, raising them up to that $15 an hour.”
Barbara Quandt is the Indiana director of the National Federation of Independent Business. “Our members have told us that raising the minimum wage is a bad idea. While well-intentioned, it can actually have the opposite effect of what is intended, which can actually eliminate jobs rather than make life better.”
She said she doesn’t know of any small-business owner who is paying minimum wage now. “What’s going to happen in some cases is you’re going to price some young people out of the market. The minimum wage was never intended to be a full-time wage. It was intended to be a training wage.”
State Sen. Greg Taylor, the Senate minority leader, said leadership can call the General Assembly back to the Statehouse at any time since the legislature did not officially adjourn this year, so lawmakers could still this year hear legislation about raising the minimum wage.
Under Armor announced this week that it was boosting is minimum wage, following other companies including McDonald’s, Chipotle, and Bank of America.