Arkansas governor opposes bills scaling back wage hike

Local News

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas’ Republican governor says he opposes legislative efforts to scale back a minimum wage hike that voters approved last year, a day after a panel endorsed proposals adding exemptions to the increase.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson told members of the Political Animals Club on Wednesday that he believes legislators shouldn’t change the voter-backed initiative that gradually raises the state’s minimum wage to $11 an hour by 2021. Arkansas’ minimum wage increased from $8.50 an hour to $9.25 in January under the measure.

A House panel on Tuesday endorsed bills that would exempt small businesses, some nonprofits and teenagers from the minimum wage increase. That measure is pending before the House. Hutchinson said he thinks the public spoke on the minimum wage when voters approved the increase in November.

Fox 16 note:

Republican Party of Arkansas Statement on Minimum Wage Debate –

“As Republicans, we value the opportunity to find employment, businesses who create jobs, and an environment that sustains a healthy job market. 

In November 2018, the people spoke to incrementally raise the minimum wage in Arkansas. We respect the will of the people and their majority vote. We should only amend the spoken desire of the people when circumstances so demand. Until then, we should follow the direction of the people and not attempt to alter it.”

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