Washington Post: Two Trump states are on the verge of raising their minimum wages to $11 or more

By Heather Long
Washington Post, November 4, 2018

Voters in Arkansas and Missouri will decide Tuesday whether to significantly raise the minimum wage in their state. The two states, both of which went heavily for President Trump in 2016, offer a test case of whether there is appetite in solidly red states for a minimum wage above $10.

Arkansas will vote on whether to gradually raise its current minimum wage of $8.50 an hour to $11 an hour by 2021. Missouri voters are deciding whether to steadily increase the state’s minimum wage of $7.85 an hour to $12 an hour by 2023. Arizona, which did not vote as strongly for Trump, is the only other red state with a higher minimum wage (voters there approved raising the state’s $10.50 minimum wage to $12 an hour by 2020). ...

Some business owners say they are willing to pay the higher costs to see their state, which is the sixth-poorest in the nation, improve.

“It matters to me, because it’s the right ting to do. More income means they’ll have more to spend, which will be good for the overall economy,” said Meg Sebastian, owner of Sebastian Tech Solutions in Jonesboro, in northeast Arkansas.

Sebastian has some employees who make $10 or $11 an hour and says she knows she would have to raise their pay to ensure she continues to get the “cream of the entry-level crop.” ...

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Copyright 2018 Washington Post

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