Republicans have filed three bills in the Arkansas Legislature to wipe out the minimum wage for thousands of families. This blatant disrespect for working families comes after Arkansas just overwhelmingly voted to raise the minimum wage, with nearly 70 percent support. The 2018 minimum wage increase to $11 an hour by 2021 passed by huge margins in every single one of the state’s 75 counties.
That’s a pay cut Arkansas families can’t afford. That’s not what voters want from the Arkansas Legislature. Arkansas Democrats support the will of voters, and support a real minimum wage for working Arkansans.
- SB115: State Senator Bob Ballinger (R-Hindsville) is most strident about keeping Arkansans from getting their paycheck. Ballinger’s bill would rollback the last two minimum wage increases (2014 and 2018), setting Arkansas back from $11 an hour to the federal $7.25 an hour for nearly 250,000 Arkansans.
His bill would exempt all businesses and nonprofits with fewer than 25 employees; people who under 18 years old; and people who have been convicted of felonies. Ballinger was recently pressured to withdraw his initial proposal to ban people with developmental disabilities from receiving the state’s minimum wage.
About 85 percent of Arkansas businesses — and 250,000 Arkansas workers — would be banned from getting the state’s new voter-approved minimum wage, under this bill. About 45,000 minimum wage workers are teenagers, and wouldn’t be eligible under this bill. This bill impacts the most vulnerable populations in the state’s workforce, puts up new barriers, and makes it more difficult for Arkansans to get meaningful work and ultimately, to build their lives.
- State Representative Robin Lundstrum (R-Springdale) and state Senator Mathew Pitsch (R-Fort Smith) filed a pair of bills that put big holes in the wallets of working Arkansans. KATV reports…
“Two bills filed this week aim to exempt certain Arkansas workers and businesses from the state minimum wage increase approved by voters last year.
House Bill 1752 would exempt businesses with 25 employees or less, private nonprofits with a budget of less than $1 million and private nonprofit developmental service providers primarily funded through state or federal grants.
House Bill 1753 would exempt people under 21 years old who are full-time high school or college students.”
Arkansas Democrats are standing firm and need your support to stop SB115 from moving forward in the Senate Public Health, Welfare, and Labor Committee and to stop HB1752 and HB1753 in the House Public Health, Welfare, and Labor Committee.
Arkansas Democrats need your support today!