Governor Scott Walker is showing some strong opposition to a push from Democrats to raise the minimum wage in Wisconsin. During a speech before the Wisconsin Grocers Association on Thursday, Walker said increasing the minimum wage workers earn would “put a buzzsaw” to the state’s economic recovery.
Democrats are pushing a bill that would increase the state’s minimum wage for workers to $10.10 an hour within the next few years, and then base future hikes on inflation. Supporters argue the increase is needed to improve the quality of life for low-income workers. Democrats in Washington D.C. have also been calling for a hike in base pay rates for the nation’s lowest earners.
AUDIO: Gov. Scott Walker (:43)
Walker contends the effort is nothing but “misguided political rhetoric” that could actually make it harder for people to find jobs. He says most businesses only have a limited amount of money to direct towards wages for employees, and mandating that they pay workers more does not increase the available funds. He says a higher minimum wage would force many businesses to either cut the number of part-time and entry level jobs they fill, or reduce the wages they pay to more stable employees who are supporting their families.
Walker says the state should be putting its resources behind efforts that make it easier for employers to grow, so they can hire more people and pay better wages.