Should Iowa Increase its Minimum Wage?

Jan 28, 2014

U.S. Senator Tom Harkin has introduced federal legislation to raise the minimum wage to $10.10/hour.  That proposal has also sparked discussion at the state level.  Iowa legislative leaders in the democratically-controlled Iowa Senate have identified a minimum wage increase as a priority this session.  Host Clay Masters talk with David Cooper, Economic Analyst for the Economic Policy Institute about how Iowa's minimum wage compares with other states, and a report that outlines how many Iowans would benefit from an increase.  Jason Noble, Statehouse and Politics reporter for the Des Moines Register tells the stories he heard from Iowa workers and employers while working on a story about the propsects for a minimum wage hike in the Iowa legislature.

Representatives Greg Forristall, a Macedonia Republican and Chair of the House Labor Committee and Representative Ruth Ann Gaines, a Des Moines Democrat weigh in on the pros and cons of raising the minimum wage in Iowa.  Gaines says it's past due, while Forristall says he's concerned that an increase might reduce employment for minimum wage workers.  They both speculate that Senate Democrats have stopped talking publicly about a hike in recent days because they don't have the votes to pass it.