Democrats at the statehouse are considering a plan that would not only raise the minimum wage to $7.25 an hour, but would also ensure that it goes up in future years. Senate Democratic Leader Mike Gronstal of Council Bluffs says "indexing" the minimum wage — raising it each year based on some inflation factor — is one of the ideas Democrats are considering.
"There continue to be a set of issues around the minimum wage that Democrats are working on, coming to consensus on both inside the Senate, inside the House and between the two chambers," Gronstal says. Gronstal concedes that would make the bill more controversial, as key Republicans have already said it’s an idea that they would staunchly oppose.
"There are a lot of people that support indexing and there are certainly some that don’t," Gronstal says. He says those who support indexing point to the last years when the minimum wage was "stuck" because legislators and the governor couldn’t agree to raise it. Others argue when unemployment is high, for example, it doesn’t make economic sense to raise the minimum wage.
"There are honest differences of opinion and those differences will get resolved in the coming hours or days," Gronstal says. "We’ll reach a consensus and we’ll move forward with something." A committee in the state senate meets at three ‘clock this afternoon to debate a bill that would raise the minimum wage. The 50-member Iowa Senate could debate the bill as early as tomorrow (Thursday).