Iowans paid the minimum wage will see more in their pay checks in April. Governor Chet Culver has just signed into law a bill that hikes the minimum wage in Iowa to $6.20 an hour on April 1st. Tonya Gibson, a mother who has five kids and is going to Des Moines Area Community College to get her GED, was standing right beside Culver as he signed the bill into law. She’s been a minimum wage worker her entire life.
"I’ve worked everywhere from Adventureland to Kentucky Fried Chicken to, oh goodness, the Five and Diner Restaurant to Wendy’s," Gibson says. "I remember when I was getting paid $3.25 an hour and then it went up to $4.75 and then it went to $5.15," she says. "I can’t wait ’til it’s $7.25 next year."
The bill calls for that first bump in the wage floor in April, then the minimum wage goes up to $7.25 on January 1, 2008. One thought ran through Gibson’s mind as Culver signed the bill."Thank god, it’s about time," Gibson told reporters afterwards.
Today is Governor Culver’s birthday and the Democrats from the legislature who stood behind Culver as he signed the bill sang "Happy Birthday" to him. "This is quite a birthday present," Culver said. "It is my 41st birthday and I couldn’t think of a better gift."