Arkansas Voting on Minimum Wage Increase Today

LITTLE ROCK, AR (Ben Caxton) — For the second time in five years, Arkansas voters will get the chance to increase the state’s minimum wage today. Issue 5 on today’s ballot, if approved, would raise the base pay for Arkansas workers from the current eight dollars and 50 cents an hour to 11 dollars an hour by 2021. If passed, the measure would mean a raise for 300-thousand Arkansans – about 1 in 4 workers in the state. Backers, through the political-action committee Arkansans for a Fair Wage, have spent about 1-point-five million dollars. A group of mainly business owners, Arkansans for a Better Economy, oppose the measure, calling it a “job killer.” Jonathan Schleifer with The Fairness Project, one of several groups supporting the wage increase, says in the current political climate, there is little chance that lawmakers would raise wages. “We know that the political system is broken, and we can’t rely on politicians who are often limited by partisanship or ideology in politics. Voters need to take it into their own hands to ensure that they have a wage that they can afford to pay the rent and feed their family.” A Hendrix College Poll taken in mid-September found 60 percent of likely Arkansas voters support the wage-hike proposal.



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