Indiana Senate Democrats are renewing their calls for increasing the state’s minimum wage as typically lower-wage businesses like restaurants say they can’t hire enough workers.
Democrats have tried passing measures, including a few during the legislative session this year, to gradually increase the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour. In every attempt, most Republicans have blocked their efforts.
Now Democrats are echoing economists in saying that low-wage jobs – not necessarily unemployment benefits – are causing workers to stay at home.
Join the conversation and sign up for the Indiana Two-Way. Text "Indiana" to 73224. Your comments and questions in response to our weekly text help us find the answers you need on COVID-19 and other statewide issues.
Senate Minority Leader Greg Taylor (D-Indianapolis) anticipates this summer will be hard for workers struggling to find affordable child care as unemployment programs end. He points out the legislative session technically isn’t over and says they could fix this immediately by passing a bill to raise the minimum wage.
“We can do it now, without the governor calling us back,” he said.
The state’s current minimum wage is $7.25 an hour, although many employers voluntarily pay more than that.