2015 State Legislative Agenda: Increase the minimum wage

2015 State Legislative Agenda: Increase the minimum wage

Today the South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce begins to publicly rollout our 2015 state legislative agenda.  And in honor of the life and work of Martin Luther King Jr. on this day of national recognition, we start with an issue that addresses Dr. King’s concern for income equality.

In Eugene Robinson’s opinion editorial today in the Washington Post he quotes Dr. King from a 1968 speech he gave in Memphis: “What does it profit a man to be able to eat at an integrated lunch counter if he doesn’t earn enough money to buy a hamburger and a cup of coffee?”

That lunch counter Dr. King was referencing would most likely have been located in a small business.  If the black customer that Dr. King figuratively cited did not earn enough to pay for a hamburger or coffee, not only was the customer suffering from poverty wages but the customer demand that small businesses need to prosper was being depressed.  With higher earnings for the low-income worker, regardless of race, both the worker and the small business owner benefits.

The South Carolina Small Business Chamber recognizes that local economic development depends on customers having disposable income that creates consumer demand.  Mr. Robinson ends his opinion piece today with this line.  “Extending a hand to those in need makes us stronger.”  In our case, the “us” is local small businesses.

Four bills have been filed in the South Carolina Legislature to raise the minimum wage.  Below is a brief description of each bill and the sponsors.  We support these bills and ask that you send a message to the sponsors telling them of your support.  Simply click on the legislators name to send them an email.

Bills to Increase the Minimum Wage

  1. H-3031Rep. Cobb-Hunter. This bill would establish $10.10 as the minimum wage in South Carolina.
  2. S-144 — Senators Scott, Pinckney, Johnson and Allen. This joint resolution would put a state Constitutional Amendment on the ballot that would set a state minimum wage that would be one dollar greater than the federal minimum wage (currently $7.25) and allow for annual cost of living adjustments.
  3. S-145 — Senators Scott, Pinckney, Johnson and Allen. This bill would set a state minimum wage that would be one dollar greater than the federal minimum wage (currently $7.25) and allow for annual cost of living adjustments.
  4. S. 146 — Senators Scott, Pinckney, Johnson and Allen.  This joint resolution calls for an advisory referendum on the 2016 general election ballot giving the voters the opportunity to voice their.