Arkansas Lawmakers on Potential Minimum Wage Consequences

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KNWA) – In Arkansas, lawmakers are considering a handful of changes to the state’s new minimum wage increase — despite growing opposition.  That was the discussion this week on Capitol View.

In the last few days, Governor Asa Hutchinson and both the state Republican and Democratic parties have come out against changing the minimum wage amendment voters passed in November 2018.

But some say raising the minimum wage across the board could have unintended consequences.

A guest on Capitol View Sunday, March 17, Republican State Representative Mary Bentley of Perryville said, “I don’t want to shut down our Boys & Girls Clubs, I don’t want to keep teenagers from being able to get some good training and get a job. That’s the last thing we want. I don’t want to hurt those kids and be able to move forward, because minimum wage was never meant to be a living wage. [The] Minimum wage was a starting salary for you to get some experience and get some expertise and move up on the ladder.” 

Democratic State Representative Tippi McCullough of Little Rock said, “Even though we may not intend minimum wage to be a way that somebody makes a living for the rest of their life, sadly and unfortunately the facts are that a lot of Arkansans are working minimum wage jobs and that’s how they’re probably gonna stay — in those minimum wage jobs due to many circumstances.”

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