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Thursday, July 20, 2006

Blog for Iowa: A Pay Raise for Iowa?

Excerpted from this post at Blog for Iowa

A minimum-wage increase would benefit tens of thousands of working Iowans, the majority over age 20 and most of them female, according to a new report.

"Iowa's minimum wage has remained at $5.15 since 1997," said Elaine Ditsler, research associate for the nonpartisan Iowa Policy Project (IPP) and author of the report. "Back then, gasoline cost $1.22 per gallon and in-state tuition at the University of Iowa was $2,470. Those costs have more than doubled."

Ditsler also noted rising prices for housing, health insurance and other consumer goods. "The purchasing power of the minimum wage is at its lowest level since 1949," she said. "A pay raise for Iowa's working families is past due." According to the report, 21 states and the District of Columbia have raised their minimum wage above the federal level of $5.15. Seven of those states are above $7 per hour and four states adjust the wage every year for inflation.

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Mike Schramm
Andy Szal

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