The state Senate passes a minium wage bill — a measure unlikely to make it to the governor's desk. Tuesday's partisan vote came on a measure from Senate Democratic Majority Leader, Russ Decker. "We need to increase the minimum wage," argued Decker. "I don't see anybody in this body that would be willing to work for seven and a quarter an hour." Decker's bill would bump the minimum wage to $7.25 an hour, and make subsequent increases automatic and tied to inflation.
The bill "puts small businesses in a very difficult position," said Minority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau). "They're forced to increase the wages that they pay, and give that pink slip to that last person at the end of the line, to make up the difference." Proponents say 21 states have a higher minimum wage than Wisconsin, and ten have the minimum indexed to inflation. Opponents, like Fitzgerald and Sen. Ted Kanavas (R-Brookfield), argued the proposal will be a jobs killer, with Kanavas asking "when are we going to have a debate on how we expand the maximum wage in the state?" Senators spent about 40 minutes debating the bill, which is unlikely to come to a vote in the Republican-controlled state Assembly.