Governor Edwards To Make Attempt In 2019 To Raise Minimum Wage
Twenty states have minimum wage increases taking effect today, while the minimum wage in Louisiana remains set by the federal government, $7.25 an hour and it's been that way since 2009. Governor John Bel Edwards will attempt once again this year to raise that minimum wage.
"A modest but meaningful increase to $8.50 over a couple of years would be the right thing to do," said Edwards.
Previous attempts to raise the wage have faced resistance from groups who say it will increase the costs of running a business.
Edwards says the gender wage gap in Louisiana is also a major concern as women earn about 66-cents on the dollar compared to men performing a similar job. He estimates women of color are at about 50 cents on the dollar.
"You talk about unfair, we have the biggest disparity in the country in what we pay women, compared to what we pay men when they are similarly qualified doing the same work," said Edwards.
Raising the minimum wage and closing the gender gap were campaign promises made by governor that he's yet to meet.
"So we are going to keep fighting for it, but I'm very disappointed to stand here at the end of my third year that we haven't been able to get that done," said Edwards.