Washington Lawmaker Introduces Proposal to Pay Prisoners Minimum Wage

A Washington legislator who served time behind bars contends it is time for the state to stop saving millions on the backs of inmates who are paid pennies for work in prison jobs.

“This is an evolution of slavery,” Rep. Tarra Simmons, D-Bremerton, told reporters. She is proposing that inmates be paid minimum wage when they work in the kitchen or produce furniture or other goods.

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More than Half of States Poised to Raise Minimum Wage in 2023 as $15 an Hour Gains Traction

Four states will have a $15-an-hour minimum wage by New Year’s Day, while 27 states are poised to raise the minimum wage in 2023.

Some states are enacting the wage change after Jan. 1, so by the end of 2023 there will be six states that are set to have minimum wages at or above $15 an hour. They are California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, and Washington, according to a report last week from the National Employment Law Project.

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California Democrats Pass Bill That Could Pay Fast Food Workers Up to $22 an Hour

Democratic legislators in California passed a bill on Monday that will create an unelected state-run board to impose minimum wage and working conditions standards on the state’s fast food restaurants.

The bill, known as A.B. 257, will establish a ten-member council, made up of state officials as well as worker and employer representatives, to set employees’ wages, hours and working conditions for California’s entire fast food industry. The bill stipulates that the council has the authority to issue health, safety and anti-discrimination regulations as well as set an industrywide minimum wage of up to $22 per hour, according to the bill’s text.

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Commentary: Debunking the Myth That Minimum Wage Laws Are ‘Progressive’

The minimum wage is a sort of litmus test. And not only for economists. For social justice advocates, too.

Forget, for a moment, the economics of it. In essence, minimum wage legislation imposes compulsory unemployment on the poor, the unskilled, racial minorities, the young, the physically and even more so the mentally handicapped—the very people all men of good will most want to help. Before the advent of this law, the unemployment rate for white middle-aged people and black teens was just about the same. Now, the latter are unemployed at quadruple the rate of the former.

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U.S. Appeals Court Pauses $15 an Hour Minimum Wage Mandate for Outdoor Recreation Companies

A federal appeals court on Thursday halted a mandate from the Biden administration that required an hourly minimum wage of $15 for outdoor recreation companies operating on public land.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit in Denver granted an injunction in a lawsuit filed by the Pacific Legal Foundation against the Biden administration on behalf of outdoor recreational groups that have contracts with the U.S. government or operate on federal land.

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Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi Sue Biden over Minimum Wage Hike for Federal Contractors

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sued the Biden administration again Thursday, this time for requiring federal contractors to pay a $15 an hour minimum wage. It’s the 21st lawsuit the attorney general has filed against the administration. Joining him are the attorneys general from Louisiana and Mississippi.

“The president has no authority to overrule Congress, which has sole authority to set the minimum wage and which already rejected a minimum wage increase,” Paxton argues.

Their lawsuit follows one filed last December by the Pacific Legal Foundation on behalf of outdoor adventure guides, Arkansas Valley Adventures (AVA), ​​a licensed river outfitter regulated by the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife, and the Colorado River Outfitters Association (CROA). The CROA, a nonprofit trade association, represents more than 150 independent operators who primarily conduct business on federal lands using special use permits through Forest Service or Bureau of Land Management.

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Judge Rules Against Arizona in Minimum Wage Lawsuit

A county judge says Arizona cannot extract the additional cost of doing state business in a city that increased its minimum wage, making it more expensive to operate there.

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge James Smith sided with the city of Flagstaff about whether a provision in the 2019 Arizona budget allowed the state to fine the city for the difference in doing state business at a higher minimum wage compared with the state minimum hourly rate.

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Democrats Planning to Recruit ‘Millions’ for New Civilian Climate Corps

A group of Democrats is pushing for the creation of a Civilian Climate Corps that could employ “millions” of young people at a minimum of $15 per hour as a way to tackle climate change.

“I was proud to stand alongside Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez this year as we reintroduced the Green New Deal and also brought forward our new Civilian Conservation Corps because that legislation is a pathway to new jobs in our country, union jobs for young people,” Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) said during a news conference focused on including the Civilian Climate Corps in the filibuster-proof budget reconciliation bill the Democrats are drafting.

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Commentary: Minimum Wage Hikes Led to Lower Worker Compensation, New Research Shows

Opponents of minimum wage laws tend to focus their criticism on one particular adverse consequence: by artificially raising the price of labor, they reduce employment, particularly for the most vulnerable in society.

“Minimum wage laws tragically generate unemployment, especially so among the poorest and least skilled or educated workers,” economist Murray Rothbard wrote in 1978. “Because a minimum wage, of course, does not guarantee any worker’s employment; it only prohibits, by force of law, anyone from being hired at the wage which would pay his employer to hire him.

Though some economists, such as Paul Krugman, reject Rothbard’s claim, a recent study found the overwhelming body of academic research supports the idea that minimum wage laws increase unemployment.

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Commentary: Raising the Minimum Wage Is Not the Answer

Joe Biden

If Joe Biden gets his way, the federal minimum wage will soon more than double, from the current $7.25 to $15 per hour. To quote our commander in chief, “if you work for less than $15 an hour and work 40 hours a week, you’re living in poverty.”

To rehash the minimum wage debate would be redundant. Anyone with business experience should see what’s going to happen. Many small independent businesses, retail stores, and restaurants that pay minimum wage will go under.

Meanwhile, major corporate chains will automate, shedding workers and raising prices, consolidating their grip on every market sector where they’re active. Unionized government workers will automatically get raises because their wages are indexed to the minimum wage—putting even more pressure on government budgets and taxpayers. People in the private sector who have spent decades learning a skill—and as a result can command wages upwards of $25 or $30 an hour—will become justifiably disgruntled, because they will no longer be making much more than minimum wage. The underground economy will explode.

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