Will the Louisiana State Senate Vote on a Minimum Wage Hike? Here’s What Happened
Once again a proposal to increase Louisiana's minimum wage has been defeated in the state legislature. But unlike last year's attempt at the raise, this time the plan didn't even make it out of a Senate committee.
Amend the Louisiana Constitution?
On Thursday the Senate Labor Committee put the brakes on a plan for a constitutional amendment that would have increased the state's minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.25 an hour on January 1st, 2023. Republican Senator Stewart Cathey of Monroe led the opposition saying that if you require businesses to raise wages, they’ll raise prices on consumers.
The Committee Vote? Not Even Close
The proposal failed in committee on a four to one vote. The only vote in favor came from Baton Rouge Democrat Regina Barrow, who had authored the measure.
Senators, Pro and Con, Make Their Points
“Nothing is the same price that is today that it was in 2009, milk, bread, eggs, gas, but people are still trying to make it and have a decent living,” Barrow said.
But Cathey countered with a pair of rhetorical questions. “(Are businesses) just going to absorb that cost? They are not going to pass that on through an increase in prices of goods?"
Louisiana Business Lobby Voices Opposition
Jim Patterson, the Vice President of Government Relations at the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry maintained that raising the minimum wage could lead to higher prices for consumers and fewer jobs for low-wage or entry level workers.
“There can be individuals who lose their employment," Patterson told Louisiana Radio Network, "And if there’s a quicker way to causing poverty than to putting people in unemployed position, I don’t know what that would be."