© 2021 Iowa Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
State Government News

Branstad on Higher Minimum Wage: "I Have Never Ruled That Out"

Minimum Wage Laws By State

Governor Branstad says a higher minimum wage in some parts of the state but not others is causing problems for businesses and local governments.   

He says he’ll work with the legislature to try to agree on a higher statewide minimum wage.

Linn, Polk, Wapello, and Johnson Counties have approved a higher countywide minimum wage.    But not all towns in those counties have gone along.  

I know this is a challenging and controversial issue

Also, the governor says, some cities straddle county lines.  

“I think it would be better if we had a statewide uniform minimum wage,” Branstad said at his weekly news conference.   “It would be my hope after the election to sit down with leaders in both houses of the legislature to see if we can reach agreement.”  

Governor Branstad says he hasn’t ruled out signing a higher statewide minimum wage into law if the Iowa legislature reaches consensus on the issue.   

In 1990, Branstad signed into law a higher statewide minimum wage of $7.50 an hour.

“I have never ruled that out,” Branstad said.   “The question is can we achieve a bipartisan consensus on what would be a reasonable and fair level.”     

Branstad admits it’s a challenging and controversial issue, adding some local officials have considered a proposed $15 an hour raise unrealistic.  

In a twitter post later in the morning, Branstad’s staff said he was not openly advocating for an increase in the minimum wage.