President Obama’s call to raise the minimum wage to $9 an hour and boost it annually to keep pace with inflation is already getting a trial run. Ten states make similar cost-of-living adjustments, including Washington state, where workers earn at least $9.19 an hour, the highest minimum.
In all, 19 states (including Arizona) and the District of Columbia have minimum wages set above the federal rate of $7.25, a disparity Obama highlighted in his State of the Union address.
Obama’s proposal is renewing the age-old debate between advocates who claim boosting the minimum wage pumps more money into the economy, helping to create new jobs, and business groups that complain it would unfairly burden employers and curb demand for new workers.
And it faces certain hurdles in Congress, as top Republicans including House Speaker John Boehner wasted little time dismissing the proposal.
Read more of this analysis Monday in the Arizona Daily Star and on StarNet.