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The Case for an Increase in the Minimum Wage in Kansas to $10.25 an Hour by 2022

The Kansas Minimum Wage, lacking action of the Federal government to do likewise, should be raised from $7.25 an hour to $8.25 an hour on January 1, 2020, $9.25 an hour on January 1, 2021, and $10.25 an hour finalizing on January 1, 2022.

Written by Lassey Murphy, July 26, 2018

    This is despite calls for no increase at all in the foreseeable future from some Republicans, an abolishment of all minimum wages in any form from extremist Republicans, and an effort to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour from some Democrats. But in fact, the increase from $7.25 an hour to $10.25 an hour is historically accurate and precedent. This is simply a matter of change over time.

Historical Context of the Last Increase

    The previous increase was enacted by the Federal government, and began to take effect on July 24, 2007 from $5.15 an hour to $5.85, raising the next year to $6.55, and to its final amount of $7.25 an hour on July 24, 2009. The period from the preceding raise to the last one was Sep 1, 1997 to July 24, 2009, which was about 11.9 years. If we adopt a Kansas minimum wage Act to begin increasing on January 1, 2020, assuming it is passed by the Kansas legislature and signed by the Governor (or veto override) in the 2019 session, its final raise date will be January 1, 2022. This is a period of about 12.5 years.

    The previous increase from $5.15 an hour to $7.25 an hour was 29%, and this one would be 29.2%. However, the time period from that one to this is 5% longer. The increase, however, is only 0.6% greater. And though this does leave the proposed rate of increase lagging slightly behind the historical one, there is an advantage in that each year’s increase should happen at the easily trackable figure of $1 per hour.

Realistic Expectations of this Action

    Now, even with the likelihood of Democratic increases in the United States Congress for the 2019 session; possibly even taking both Chambers, it is unlikely that they will be able to override an almost certain Presidential veto, and as such the hope for Federal action is tiny for at least 3 years, to take effect in 4 or more and finish in 6 or more; whereas in Kansas, we have the opportunity to enact in 1 and finish in 4.

    In Kansas, the situation is different. We can do this!

    So, this action depends on the willingness not only of the Kansas Republican delegation to keep on track with historical minimum wage increases and be reasonable, but on every Kansas voter concerned with direly needed action on this issue to make it happen!

Lassey for Kansas, Roger Sims, Treasurer
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