One of the most talked about aspects of President Obama's State of the Union Address was his call for an increase in the minimum wage. While the debate heated up between those for and against a possible federal increase in the minimum wage, Republicans in Mississippi are taking things even further.
According to Openstate.org, HB 141 passed the Mississippi state House earlier this month, and called for an end to the minimum wage. Supporters of the bill cite tough economic times and businesses struggling for their support. It is clearly outlined in Section 1 of the bill.
SECTION 1. (1) No county, board of supervisors of a county, municipality or governing authority of a municipality is authorized to establish a mandatory, minimum living wage rate, minimum number of vacation or sick days, whether paid or unpaid, that would regulate how a private employer pays its employees. Each county, board of supervisors of a county, municipality or governing authority of a municipality shall be prohibited from establishing a mandatory, minimum living wage rate, minimum number of vacation or sick days, whether paid or unpaid, that would regulate how a private employer pays its employees.
The bill would also make it more difficult for employees to receive sick days and vacation time, something that many employees already lack. The bill notes that it is necessary to pass to "ensure an economic climate conducive to new business development and job growth."
The current federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour, with President Obama calling for an increase to $9.00 an hour. According to a study done by the Center for Economic and Policy Research, if minimum wage kept up with inflation it would be $10.52 an hour. The study also showed that if minimum wage had kept up with worker productivity, it would have reached $21.72 an hour by 2012.
A full-time worker who makes minimum wage can't live a healthy lifestyle, barely pay the bills or take care of themselves, let alone a family. By allowing companies to pay their employees even less, the economy will struggle along with millions of hard-working Americans.