Alaska, Arkansas, Nebraska, and South Dakota are all Republican strongholds, but they all passed binding referenda last week to increase the minimum wage.
Indiana doesn’t legislate by referendum. Democrats say they plan to propose an increase in the upcoming General Assembly, but Senate Pensions and Labor Chairman Phil Boots says he doesn’t plan to give those bills a hearing.
“As far as I’m concerned it’s up to the employer and the employee to set their wages and benefits etc., so I don’t think we need to get involved,” Boots said.
House Minority Leader Scott Pelath says Democrats may not be able to pass a minimum wage increase, but they can force a discussion.
“Middle class wages in particular remain a problem in this state, we’re going backwards instead of forwards,” Pelath said. “My friends across the aisle can take it to the bank that they’re gonna have to confront that issue this session.”
The Arkansas, Nebraska and South Dakota votes leave 24 states which adhere to the federal minimum of $7.25 an hour, including Indiana.