Bill seeks to increase Ky. minimum wage


FRANKFORT, Ky. – House Speaker Greg Stumbo’s House Bill 278 on Wednesday to increase minimum wage in Kentucky. The increase would be first of it’s kind in nearly seven years.

The state’s minimum wage would rise in three steps, each less than a dollar a year, from the current $7.25 an hour to $10.10 an hour by July 2018.

Speaker Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, increasing minimum wage now is imperative for the livelihood of families.

“It is way past time that we give a raise to those families who depend on the minimum wage,” Stumbo said. “Beyond the budget, no other bill the General Assembly considers this year would do more for our economy and improve the livelihood of hundreds of thousands of families. We need to take this step now, because waiting another year would just put these families further behind.”

Speaker Stumbo noted that his legislation is similar to the last minimum wage increase the General Assembly passed, which was in 2007 and became fully effective in 2009. “That measure had a lot of bipartisan support, so I don’t see why this one can’t as well,” he said.

Greenup County JudgeExecutive Robert Carpenter, said

“We raised the minimum wage for our counties for our county workers, and we have been doing that for a year or so,” Carpenter said. “I think that Speaker Stumbo is on the right track. I think that it is something that we are definintely going to look at for everybody. It is a win, win for everyone.”

House Bill 278 would bring that figure up to $19,533, roughly the same earning power the minimum wage had in the late 1960s when adjusted for inflation.

Speaker Stumbo also stated that a poll released earlier this month by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky and Interact for Health found that almost 70 percent of adults in the commonwealth favored a minimum wage increase to $10.10 an hour. That corresponds with a Bluegrass Poll from last March that showed raising the minimum wage was by far the most important issue in the governor’s race.

By Portia Williams

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Reach Portia Williams at 740-353-3101, ext. 1929, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.

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