Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards released the following statement on a vote by the full Senate that would establish a state minimum wage, legislation that is  part of his legislative package for this session.  Recent polling shows that a vast majority of Louisianans – 76 percent – support raising the minimum wage to $8.50 per hour, including 73 percent of Independents and 60 percent of Republicans. 

“Unfortunately, the full Senate missed an opportunity to stand up for working Louisianans who overwhelmingly support a modest, but meaningful increase the minimum wage” said Gov. Edwards.  “Not advancing this legislation is a step backwards for our families and our children who live in poverty but want to work.  Thousands of Louisianans are struggling to live off of $7.25 an hour, and unfortunately while the cost of living has increased over the years, their wages have not. This is a problem we can do something about, and it’s clear that is exactly what a majority of people across our state, regardless of their party affiliation, want us to do. Our approach is similar to what other Southern states have done, most recently in Arkansas, but sadly that is not what happened today.  Our work is not done, and I will continue fighting to make this a reality for the working families of our state.” 

SB 162 by Sen. Troy Carter (D-New Orleans) would establish the state minimum wage to $8.00 per hour beginning Jan. 1, 2019 and increases it to $8.50 starting Jan. 1, 2020.  Louisiana is one of only five states in the country that does not have its own minimum wage, thereby using the federal level of $7.25 per hour.  The last time the federal minimum wage was increased was in 2009.