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Push for Indiana minimum wage increase likely stalled again

A renewed call by Democrats for an increase to Indiana's minimum wage isn't winning over Republicans who control the Statehouse, with the governor saying his goal is to help workers advance beyond low-paying jobs. The current federal minimum wage has been $7.25 an hour since 2009. The Democratic plan would boost Indiana's to $10 an hour beginning in 2022 then in $1 stages until it reaches $15. Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb wants more state-funded job training to assist people into better-paying careers. Democratic Sen. Eddie Melton of Gary argues housing, food and household costs have spiked since the last increase.

Posted: Jan 17, 2021 2:35 PM

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A renewed call by Democrats for an increase to Indiana's minimum wage isn't winning over Republicans who control the Statehouse, with the governor saying his goal is to prepare workers for advancing beyond low-paying jobs.

The Democratic-backed proposal would unlink Indiana from the current federal minimum wage that's remained at $7.25 an hour since 2009. The plan would boost Indiana's minimum wage to $10 an hour beginning in 2022 then by an additional $1 an hour each year until it reaches $15 in 2027.

Indiana's Republican-dominated Legislature has refused over the last several years to take up Democratic-sponsored bills to raise the minimum wage.

Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb said he wants more money directed toward state-funded job training to help people advance into better-paying careers.

"What I don't want people to be caught up in is tethered to some appeal to a minimum expectation of anything in their life," Holcomb said. "Especially while we have resources here to help folks with the opportunities that are out there now."

Democratic Sen. Eddie Melton of Gary argues the costs for housing, transportation, child care, food and other necessities have gone up 20% or more since the last minimum wage increase.

"During this pandemic, our working Hoosiers kept our groceries stores open, delivered our food and our packages during the quarantine, cleaned our stores and even our offices just to keep us safe," Melton said. "We can't just simply show our gratitude by saying 'thank you.' We also should show it by fighting for them to increase their wages to a livable wage."

Indiana and Kentucky have their minimum hourly wages tied to the federal law, while the Ohio minimum is set at $8.80, Michigan at $9.65 and Illinois statewide minimum is $11, according to the federal Department of Labor.

Melton said that legislators should at least repeal the 2011 law prohibiting Indiana's counties and cities from setting a local minimum wage that's higher than the federal rate.

"This is an unnecessary and harmful statute that tramples on the rights of small government and does nothing to move our state forward," Melton said.

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Indiana Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 660071

Reported Deaths: 12531
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion904161633
Lake48298874
Allen35720633
Hamilton31970396
St. Joseph29796510
Elkhart25331412
Vanderburgh21192377
Tippecanoe19927199
Johnson16312356
Porter15917269
Hendricks15785300
Clark11913180
Madison11717315
Vigo11562229
Monroe10300159
Delaware9824179
LaPorte9739196
Howard9038195
Kosciusko8539108
Bartholomew7424147
Hancock7399130
Warrick7399150
Floyd7180167
Wayne6622191
Grant6413157
Boone606888
Morgan6066124
Dubois5890111
Dearborn544466
Cass542899
Marshall5414104
Henry541392
Noble508476
Jackson464165
Shelby459890
Lawrence4174111
Gibson400981
Harrison397863
Clinton394453
Montgomery385083
DeKalb384378
Knox356285
Miami356163
Whitley348435
Huntington341876
Steuben337455
Wabash330576
Putnam328259
Ripley326461
Adams322149
Jasper314843
White297152
Jefferson293773
Daviess285096
Fayette271156
Decatur270188
Greene260780
Posey260431
Wells257174
Scott250050
LaGrange240770
Clay240344
Randolph225376
Spencer216930
Jennings214344
Washington209927
Sullivan202939
Fountain201042
Starke187250
Owen181953
Fulton177937
Jay177528
Carroll176218
Perry173335
Orange170950
Rush164322
Vermillion160141
Franklin159135
Tipton145941
Parke138615
Pike127432
Blackford120527
Pulaski106544
Newton96531
Brown94839
Benton91713
Crawford90313
Martin80114
Warren75312
Switzerland7527
Union66910
Ohio52911
Unassigned0433

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