Governor Terry Branstad.

Governor Terry Branstad.

Johnson County currently has a minimum wage that’s higher than the state’s and officials in neighboring Linn County are considering a similar move. Governor Terry Branstad says it “would be better” if the base rate for hourly wages was set on a “statewide basis.”

“But I understand we have a legislature that’s divided and there’s not a consensus on that issue, so I’ve indicated a willingness to consider it, but I just don’t perceive that there is a consensus in the legislature between the parties addressing increasing the minimum wage,” Branstad says.

Branstad made his comments today during of the “Iowa Press” program that airs tonight on Iowa Public Television.

Last fall, Johnson County officials passed an ordinance that raised the minimum wage to $8.20 an hour. It will go up to $9.15 an hour on May 1 in Johnson County, although some communities in the county were allowed to “opt out” of the minimum wage hike plan. On January 1 of next year, the minimum wage for most of Johnson County will rise to $10.10 an hour.

Officials with the board that governs the University of Iowa are discussing a move to “opt out” of the higher minimum wage rate for Johnson County, because students in work study programs at Iowa would be paid more than work study students at Iowa State and UNI.