The floor manager of the bill to increase Iowa’s minimum wage is promising to introduce legislation next year to further benefit the state’s working poor. Senator Tom Courtney, a Democrat from Burlington, helped pass an increase in the minimum wage to the current level of $6.20 an hour. It’s scheduled to rise to $7.25 by January 1st. Courtney says he’s not bothered by small business owners who claim they are struggling to pay their employees.
“After the state minimum wage went up, I went to get an oil change, and they said they raised the price by five dollars because of the minimum wage,” Courtney explains, “That’s fine with me. What’s wrong with the person getting paid a little more? That’s what it’s all about.” Courtney says he plans to push a bill that would index the minimum wage with the rate of inflation.
“If inflation goes up three percent a year,” Courtney asks, “why shouldn’t the minimum wage go up?” Courtney says a proposal to tie the minimum wage to inflation was introduced last session, but there was not enough support for approval in the legislature. Courtney admits it probably won’t pass next year either, but he promises to keep trying until it does pass.