Governor Tom Vilsack’s call for an increase in the minimum wage is dead on arrival at the republican-controlled legislature. Mary Lou Freeman, a Republican from Alta, is chair of the Senate Business and Labor Committee. She says she’s “in no mood what so ever” to look at increasing the minimum wage.Freeman says she’s doesn’t believe increasing the minimum wage is the answer. She says they need to improve the overall economic outlook for the state. Freeman says the minimum wage hasn’t even been a question in the past few years when the economy was steaming along. She says the companies had to raise their wages on their own to recruit employees.But democrats like Senate Minority Leader Mike Gronstal of Council Bluffs say they’ll try to find a way for the legislature to at least consider the idea of boosting the minimum wage. Gronstal says workers in Iowa are some of the most productive in the country and deserve an increase in the minimum wage.Governor Vilsack says boosting the minimum wage would help welfare recipients who’re trying to move into the work world, as well as many single women trying to raise a family on the salary from an entry level job. Former republican Governor Terry Branstad surprised many when he approved raising Iowa’s minimum wage above the national rate back in 1990.
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