Indiana Democrats continue push for increased minimum wage

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INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana Senate Democrats want to have a debate on the floor about raising Indiana’s minimum wage.

Right now, the state is in line with the federal minimum wage set at $7.25 per hour. State Senator Eddie Melton proposed a bill to incrementally raise it to $15 an hour. Senate Democrats say about 30 percent of Hoosiers earn less than that. 

“We know that this is a decision many Hoosiers want, more than 800,000 Hoosiers need, in terms of raising it to a livable wage and we won’t stop,” Melton said. “It’s something we need the public to chime in and reach out to their local legislators.”

The Indiana Chamber says while raising the minimum wage may need to be a discussion, businesses would take a hit from raising it up to $15 an hour.

“What we think happens when you raise minimum wage to such levels, employers actually make shifts in letting go of folks, discontinuing jobs, and increasing automation, but we think it’s most important to really elevate individuals in job skill levels we don’t consider, we really don’t consider the minimum wage being a living wage,” said Michael Ripley, VP of Health Care and Labor Employment Policy for Indy Chamber.

State minimum wage increase proposals have not made it past committee this session. With the session in recess now, lawmakers say it still could come up. 

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