Democrats Push To Increase Minimum Wage - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

Democrats Push To Increase Minimum Wage

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By: Claire Powell


Democrats are pushing to raise the minimum wage from the national rate of $7.25 to $10.10.

U.S. Senator Tom Harkin, Iowa Senator Jack Hatch and Burlington Democrat Tom Courtney are a few pushing for the increase. Courtney already filed for a bill for to raise the minimum wage.

"We really have families that have been working too hard, for too little, too long," said Iowa Democratic Senator Jack Hatch. "This is going to allow families to not chose between their food and their medicine. This will allow families to pay for more clothing and accessories for their kids. It will allow families to be in debt less."

However, locally owned businesses have a slightly different point of view.

"It's going to shake up the whole industry," said Dominic Iannareli, Jethro's BBQ.

Jethro's employs over 400 people and all are paid above minimum wage. However, if the wage increases to $10.10, some would be underpaid and others wouldn't be paid enough.

"That much of an increase would bring some of the employees to that level and it would end up with any new hires and so on. It would end up costing us more money from a payroll stand point," said Iannareli.

Much smaller businesses are worried the increase will lead to job loss and salary hikes.

Democrats said the wage-change would take up to three years to implement and they would work with businesses that may struggle.

"This isn't an anti-business issue, it is a pro-middle class proposal. Every time this debate comes up people have said this will force small businesses to close and that has never happened," said Senator Hatch.

Although the increase isn't set in stone, businesses still have some worries.   

"Our biggest fear is what's going to happen to the other companies we purchase our products from. Their costs are going to go up, in turn our costs are going to go up and it's going to cause us to raise prices," said Iannareli. "Products are going to get more expensive and that will hurt our bottom line the most." 

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