Local Reaction To Possibly Raising Minimum Wage

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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) -- Yesterday a House Committee approved a bill to increase the minimum wage in Kentucky.

The proposal is to raise it to $10.10 an hour as opposed to the $7.25 an hour workers are making now.

I talked to a childcare business here in Bowling Green about how they felt it would affect them.

Some feel raising minimum wage is a tough decision and see's the positives and negatives.

"I believe everybody should have an opportunity to have a living wage. So an increased minimum wage is a good thing for full time employees folks with families. There is also a negative side of raising it whole sale across the board unless there are exceptions for people like high school students or college students just working part time 10 or 15 hours a week," said Debbie Wade Jordan the Executive Director of Community Education.

Dr. Saundra Ardrey, the Head of the Political Science Department at WKU, stands firm in increasing Minimum Wage $3 over the next three years.

"We must be able to guarantee that our citizens have some type of economic foundation and that minimum wage is basically a living wage. It is very hard for some of our citizens to be able to make ends meet in terms of providing food and housing the basic necessities," said Dr. Ardrey.

Representative Jim Decesare feels it would hurt business's in Kentucky.

"I typically do not support raising the minimum wage. Studies have shown that over the past 70 years increases in the minimum wage actually tends to reduce employment and increase unemployment so there are a lot of unintended consequences when you raise minimum wage."

Community Education here in Bowling Green says they try their best to keep child care costs as low as possible, but the money to pay their staff has to come from somewhere.

"When the minimum wage increases we obviously have to pay our employees more which again cost parents more for the child care. So when that basic rate increases then our cost increases so parents are going to have to fit the bill because we have to pass that cost along," said Jordan.

Kentucky's minimum wage hasn't been raised since 2009, and the full House is expected to vote on the bill next week to see if it will be raised again.

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