Or at least that’s what some legislators are attempting.
Currently, Georgia’s minimum wage is $5.15 an hour. That’s far below the federal minimum wage of $7.25. Legislation has been introduced in several states increasing the minimum wage and other states have increased minimum wage through referendum. The states that have increased the minimum wage are diverse–some red and some blue.
House Bill 272–relating to Georgia’s minimum wage–was introduced on Monday. The bill would raise the state’s minimum wage to $10.10 an hour; however, that rate would change the following year. The minimum wage would increase every year based on the cost of living as provided by the US Department of Labor’s Consumer Price Index on Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers.
According to the bill, in September, the Georgia Department of Labor would measure the cost of living increase as of the preceding July over the July levels of the immediate preceding year. The state minimum wage would increase according to that percent on January 1 of the following year.
Let’s say this bill was enacted in 2012. The minimum wage would increase from $10.10 to $10.50 in 2014 and then to $10.92 in 2015.
In the simplest of terms, this bill is insane.
Minimum wage suggests that every employee is valued at the government instituted rate. Currently, the federal government tells businesses that an inexperienced, high school junior is worth $7.25 an hour. Spoiler: They’re not always worth that rate. Raising the minimum wage hurts small businesses seeking to expand. This bill would truly hurt Georgia’s job growth.
I recognize this bill will get nowhere. Proponents of minimum wage increases scream that 70 percent or more of Americans support raising the minimum wage, but legislation with strong public support can still be poor policy. And this bill is just that: poor policy.