Imagine working for more than 10 years without a raise. It's been that long since South Dakota raised the minimum wage, but the issue is being debated this legislative session in Pierre. The Senate has passed a bill to raise it from the current $5.15 an hour, to $7.25 over the next couple of years. The bill now goes to the House and if it's approved there, it's on to the governor's desk.
Governor Rounds let lawmakers know he hoped to get the minimum wage raised during his State of the State address in January. Senate Bill 207 would increase the minimum wage to $5.85 an hour this July. It would then go up to $6.55 in 2008 and to $7.25 in 2009.
Raising the minimum wage is a priority for the new leadership in Congress and for Governor Rounds in Pierre.
The proposed bump in pay could affect as many as 15-million American workers... including thousands of minimum wage-earners in South Dakota.
Senate Bill 207 still has a ways to go before becoming law. It's now in the hands of the House state affairs committee, which must approve the measure before the full House can vote on it.
The governor did commission a study on how raising the minimum wage would impact South Dakota's economy. To read that research, click here
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