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State Lawmakers Rally to Raise Minimum Wage

Kentucky State Capitol in Frankfort.
Kentucky State Capitol in Frankfort.

Louisville Congressman John Yarmuth and a handful of Democratic state lawmakers rallied today in support of raising the minimum wage in Kentucky from $7.25 an hour to $10.10.

Yarmuth was joined by labor unions and Democratic state representatives, and in his speech cited a study by Oxfam America claiming that over 60,000 workers in his district alone would benefit the proposed raised minimum wage. But he says those benefits won’t be limited to just his district.

“Across the Commonwealth, a $10.10 minimum wage would raise the pay in one in four workers, according to the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy,” Yarmuth said. "It would also benefit more than one in five kids in Kentucky by increasing the wages of at least one parent.”

Yarmuth adds that House Republicans have refused to bring the issue to a floor vote.

A similar measure was introduced this year in the Kentucky General Assembly by Democratic Rep. Mary Lou Marzian and House Speaker Greg Stumbo. Their bill passed the state House 54-44 along largely party lines, but died in the GOP-controlled state Senate.

Marzian says that government should afford the same breaks to workers that it does to businesses and CEOs.

“We’re giving benefits to companies and corporations, CEOs are making way, way, way, way more than they ever made, and we say we can’t afford it,” Marzian said.

The Kentucky Attorney General is reviewing whether or not cities like Louisville can pass their own minimum wage laws.

A spokesman for the AG’s office said they are requesting input from the Jefferson County Attorney’s Office toward this end, but did not say when an official opinion will be issued.

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