(KTAL/KMSS) – Six candidates running for Louisiana Governor share their thoughts on how they plan to address minimum wage laws if elected.

During Governor John Bel Edwards’s final Louisiana Legislative session, he made a push to support a bill for raising the minimum wage, which has not changed in the state since the federal government raised it to $7.25 in 2009.

Gary Carter who proposed Senate Bill 149 witnessed hopeful progress in the early months of the 2023 legislative session, after the Senate Labor and Industrial Relations Committee approved to raise Louisiana’s minimum wage to $14 per hour by 2028.

Gov. Edwards gave final remarks after the conclusion of the legislative session where he shared his disappointment with lawmakers that bills such as raising the minimum wage did not pass.

Now, the outgoing Governor will leave this issue in the hands of the next elected candidate.

Hunter Lundy, John Schroder, Stephen Waguespack, Sharon Hewitt, Jeff Landry, and Shawn Wilson are all running to hold the highest seat in the state.

When asked how they would address minimum wage if elected this is how they responded.

“In Louisiana, we are preconditioned to be last. Why are we again talking about the minimum wage when we should be talking about maximum wages?  Every other state in the south is focused on good paying jobs,” said Jeff Landry, Republican candidate for Louisiana Governor. “That’s how you move the metrics!”

Lundy says he hopes to bring hope to Louisianians with his support for raising the minimum wage.

“I’m going to suggest 11 dollars an hour, and I’m going to suggest maybe tieing it to the inflationary index that it might change over the years to come,” said Hunter Lundy, Independent candidate for Louisiana Governor

Schroder agrees minimum wage should be raised but believes the market should be the deciding factor. Schroder says he has not put much thought into specifics but openly says it should not be seven dollars and a quarter.

“I’m willing to have the conversation now where it’s at, I don’t know because let me tell you small business knows what’s best for small business,” said John Schroder, Republican candidate for Louisiana Governor.

Hewitt is open to talking about raising the minimum wage in the next legislative session.

“If ever there was a time to look at minimum wage, now would be the time,” said Sharon Hewitt, Republican candidate for Louisiana Governor. “Everything costs more, eggs, and groceries, and gasoline and interest rates are high. There are a lot of people without jobs,”

Wilson would like to raise the minimum wage between $10 to $15 dollars.

“I absolutely think we should increase the minimum wage in the state of Louisiana the fact that over 51 percent of the families in the state of Louisiana can’t afford the basics anywhere from Transportation, Childcare, Healthcare, and the burden of insurance,” said Shawn Wilson, Democratic candidate for Louisiana Governor.

We reached out to the camp of Republican Candidate Stephen Waguespack’s but have not received a comment on the topic.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, there are 22 states including Louisiana that utilize the federal set minimum wage.

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