Predictably but shamefully, the Senate has blocked a measure that would, over three years, increase the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour. In an election-year showdown, Senate Republicans rejected a centerpiece of the Democrats’ 2014 campaign. But the real losers are the nation’s workers, especially those who are struggling to make ends meets.
Last week, the Fair Minimum Wage Act failed to get the 60 votes needed to start a Senate debate. The vote was 54 to 42 — nearly half of the world’s greatest deliberative body didn’t think a living wage for millions of Americans was worth even talking about.
Supporters should reintroduce the measure soon; whatever political influence this issue has on the midterm elections favors them. The Senate’s action should spur more young, low-income, and minority voters — constituencies that tend to skip midterm elections — to show up this year….
Ohio’s minimum wage is $7.95 an hour. Roughly 330,000 workers — nearly 7 percent of the state’s work force — earn the statewide minimum or slightly more….
Polls show Americans strongly support raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. A Bloomberg survey last month found 69 percent back the move nationwide. Support in Ohio is similar….
Americans consider a living wage a matter of basic fairness. They don’t believe anyone who works full-time should live in poverty. It’s a shame their elected representatives don’t feel the same way.
— The (Toledo) Blade