Foodservice Equipment Reports

Majority Of States Veto Minimum Wage Increases

Workers who picketed quick-service operations in hopes of earning a living wage were disappointed across the country when only one state passed a bill to increase the minimum wage.

After the president’s State of the Union address called for a $1.75 increase at the federal level, wage legislation flooded state legislatures in 2013. Twenty-nine states considered increases, but as the majority of states ended their legislative sessions last week, most wage-hike proposals sputtered; only a handful of bills remain in play. Only New York passed a bill to increase the minimum wage; the rate will go from $7.25 to $9 by 2016.

State restaurant associations across the country voiced strong—and successful—opposition to the proposals. Among the 15 states rejecting wage-hike legislation were Connecticut, Minnesota and New Mexico. The California Assembly just passed a bill to increase the minimum wage by $1.25, but it is not final. The California Restaurant Association sent a letter to legislators voicing its opposition to the proposal.

Wage-hike legislation also is pending in Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Wisconsin. New Jersey voters will decide in November on a ballot initiative to increase the minimum wage. In Maine, an increase from $7.50 to $8.50 that passed the legislature currently is awaiting action from the governor.

Here’s a glance at current state wage rates and the 2013 legislation map.

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