Arkansas Democrat Gazette: Arkansas governor, lieutenant governor signal opposition to minimum wage ballot issue

By Michael R. Wickline
Arkansas Democrat Gazette, September 26, 2018

Gov. Asa Hutchinson and Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin said Tuesday they plan to vote against a proposed initiated act that would raise the state's minimum wage by $2.50 an hour to $11 an hour by 2021. These two Republicans signaled their opposition to Issue 5 on the Nov. 6 general election ballot in separate written statements, after supporters of the proposed ballot measure held a news conference Tuesday morning at Trio's restaurant in Little Rock as a kick-off event.

The proposed initiated act would raise the minimum wage of $8.50 an hour to $9.25 an hour on Jan. 1, 2019; to $10 an hour on Jan. 1, 2020; and then to $11 an hour on Jan. 1, 2021.

Supporters said the proposal would benefit more than 300,000 working Arkansans, ranging from home health care aides, to custodians, to retail workers, to classroom aides, and put a cumulative total of $455 million in the pockets of hard-working, low-income Arkansans after it's fully implemented.

Capi Peck, owner of Trio's, said, "Gradually raising the minimum wage will provide an injection of dollars into small local businesses like Trio's."

"We know that low-wage workers are the people most likely to spend their dollars in their communities. When they earn more, they can spend more on food and clothing and everyday essentials," she said. "It just makes sense to give hard-working Arkansans a raise." ...

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Copyright 2018 Arkansas Democrat Gazette

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