State Senator Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) represents parts of four counties: Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, and Walworth. Her Senate District 28 includes New Berlin, Franklin, Greendale, Hales Corners, Muskego, Waterford, Big Bend, the town of Vernon and parts of Greenfield, East Troy, and Mukwonago. Senator Lazich has been in the Legislature for more than a decade. She considers herself a tireless crusader for lower taxes, reduced spending and smaller government.
Here is a copy of SB 130.
The minimum wage is a tired old policy often trotted out by supporters that would only hurt the individuals it intends to help.
The conventional wisdom among most economists is that the minimum wage costs thousands of jobs.
A low-paying job remains an entry point for those with few marketable skills. Because of the minimum wage, teenagers, workers in training, college students, interns, and part-time workers see fewer opportunities in the job market.
When the minimum wage increases, jobs disappear. The jobs that vanish are entry-level jobs, the jobs needed by the poor and those with minimal skills to gain experience and establish work history.The non-profit Employment Polices Institute says:
“Automatically increasing the minimum wage at the rate of inflation prevents lawmakers from making future adjustments in the entry-level wage in response to changes in the state’s economic climate.
Already, two-thirds of minimum wage earners receive a raise within their first year of employment. However, there are some people who lack the skills necessary to advance in the workplace. It is this vulnerable subsection of employees that will be the first to lose their jobs when the mandated wage exceeds their productivity level.
A recent University of California at Irvine study found that high school dropouts and African-American teens suffer four times more employment loss from minimum wage increases than their more educated counterparts. For these vulnerable individuals, a 10 percent increase in the minimum wage leads to an 8 percent decrease in employment.”
Proponents argue they want to increase the wage to help the poor. However, the effect is just the opposite. They will also say they want to provide a living wage.
The fact remains that a very small percentage of minimum wage workers are single parents or adult heads of households. The majority of minimum wage workers are single individuals, many of them living with their parents.
Minimum wage workers are not parents struggling to feed their families. They are high school or college students living at home.
Dr. Peter Brandon of the Institute for Research on Poverty studied the effects of the minimum wage on the transition from welfare to work. He found that raising it keeps welfare mothers on welfare longer. Mothers on welfare in states that raised their minimum wage remained on welfare 44 percent longer than mothers on welfare in states the minimum wage was increased.
Another side effect of increasing the minimum wage according to a report by the Employment Policies Institute is that it increases the number of high-school drop-outs because higher mandatory minimum wages will entice some students into sacrificing school for work. At the same time many employers are compelled to forgo hiring low-skill teenagers in favor of older employees whose experience makes them worth hiring at higher wage rates.
The effort to raise the minimum wage is a campaign that panders using misleading arguments. Increasing the wage will only deprive low-skilled, poor workers of much-needed job experience and opportunities.
The Senate approved SB 130, 19-13.
The bill now goes to the state Assembly.