Washington Examiner: Minimum wage fight moves from Capitol Hill to state and local ballots
President Obama’s efforts to raise the minimum wage have been blocked at the federal level, but measures on state and local ballots next month will help advance his goal.
Five states and two major cities will have minimum wage increases on the ballot on Nov. 4, adding to the 10 states and several big cities that already have raised the wage floor this year.
“We’ve seen this year a real uptick in how much is done at the local level,” said Ken Jacobs, chairman of the Center for Labor Research and Education at University of California Berkeley, noting that Obama in his State of the Union address in January called on mayors and governors to raise state and local minimum wages.
By promoting state and local efforts, the Obama administration is circumventing opposition from congressional Republicans to raising the federal minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.10. It also achieves part of the policy agenda that it has said is key to addressing the fortunes of middle-class Americans and builds momentum on a political issue that is always popular in polls.