Brad Schimel, the Republican candidate for Wisconsin’s Attorney General, told his supporters at a Milwaukee County Republicans party that he’s sick and tired of the debate over the minimum wage.
“I want every one of our neighbors to have a job again, a well-paid job, so we don’t have to argue about minimum wage for someone working at Burger King,” he said. “Let’s get them a real job.”
Minimum wage workers, underpaid, regularly perform exhausting tasks and, thanks to the low pay and reduced hours from businesses attempting to skirt regulations put in place by the Affordable Care Act, are forced to work multiple jobs.
Currently, there is a fight in Wisconsin to raise the minimum wage from $7.25 per hour to $10.10, something Republicans have been fighting tooth and nail to prevent.
Recently, Governor Scott Walker claimed that the minimum wage serves no purpose whatsoever, though he says he has no plans to enact a meaningless repeal of the minimum wage, either.
In November, residents of 13 counties will vote on a nonbinding referendum to raise the minimum wage. If it passes, it could place pressure on politicians to raise the wages of the hard-working and low-paid workers.
“We expect that no matter who is elected on November 4th, they’re going to do something about the poverty wage crisis in our communities,” said Jennifer Epps-Addison with Wisconsin Jobs Now. “Nobody is trying to get rich here, but you want to make enough that you’re not on public assistance.”
ThinkProgress notes that,
Under Wisconsin law, all workers must be paid a living wage. The statute mandates that the wage must “permit an employee to maintain herself or himself in minimum comfort, decency, physical and moral well-being,” and allows workers to bring complaints to the Governor’s office if they feel their pay is insufficient. In response to the complaints, the governor can unilaterally raise the minimum wage or appoint a “wage council” to study whether the current minimum is enough. Or he or she can do what Walker did: throw out the worker petitions and declare $7.25 an hour is a living wage.
Instead of pretending that $7.25 an hour even approaches a living wage, Republicans need to listen to the people. Even $10.10 per hour is barely livable.