Minimum wage in Louisiana may be raised to $9

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Wrinkled dollar bills and a quarter adding up to $7.25, the current (as of 2016) U.S. Federal Minimum wage.

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Senate Bill 155 by Sen. Troy Carter is a constitutional amendment that would establish a $9 per hour wage if it passes the Legislature and wins approval in a statewide referendum.

According to data from the Economic Policy Institute, more than 1 in 10 Louisiana workers would get a pay raise if we adopted a $9 per hour minimum wage.

The average pay raise for a worker directly affected by a wage hike is $1,400, and that money that would go directly back to local communities in the form of consumer spending.

“We know Louisiana’s economy is improving, but far too many workers aren’t feeling the benefits of that growth because their jobs pay so little,” said Dara Shackelford, economic opportunity analyst at the Louisiana Budget Project. “An increase to $9 per hour would go a long way for a person who is only making $7.25 per hour.”

In raising the state’s minimum wage, Louisiana’s shameful gender pay gap would shrink as well.

Of the 215,000 residents who would see a raise, almost two-thirds (65 percent) would be women.

Data shows that a wage hike would pump an additional $189 million a year into Louisiana’s economy.

It would especially help workers in retail, food service and healthcare, where low wages are most prevalent.

“Despite what critics say, an increase in the minimum wage would not lead to job losses,” Shackelford said. “In fact, the opposite would happen, as an increase would make workers less likely to leave their jobs. These dollars would also increase demand in local businesses and increase local revenues, further spurring job growth and the economy.

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