Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards released the following statement on the Senate Finance Committee’s vote on SB 153, legislation by State Senator Troy Carter (D-District 7) that would make a modest increase in the state’s minimum wage. The legislation would increase the state’s minimum wage – currently $7.25 – to $8.50 over a two-year period.

“In 2016, $7.25 is not a living wage,” said Gov. Edwards. “It has been more than a decade since Louisianans living on minimum wage saw an increase in their pay. That’s unacceptable, and I am disappointed that legislators on this committee did not see fit to give these hardworking Louisianans a modest increase in their pay. We talk a lot about family values in Louisiana, but when the legislature had the opportunity to actively value families, it failed. An overwhelming number of people in Louisiana support raising the minimum wage, and we will continue to work to lift them up until the legislature agrees.”

Louisiana is one of only five states that have not adopted a state minimum wage. Forty percent of Louisiana working families do not earn enough to cover basic monthly expenses. Gov. Edwards committed to addressing this issue during his run for governor and he plans to work with legislators on both sides of the aisle to follow through on that commitment.