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Legislation To Raise Minimum Wage Not Expected This Session

Discussion about raising the state’s minimum wage likely won’t happen this session. That's according to the chair of the Senate Appropriation Committee.

State Democrats are leading the push, but they'll have a hard time getting their proposals past the Republican supermajorities in both the Senate and the House.

Indiana’s Democratic senators are proposing raising the state’s minimum wage to 10 dollars and 10 cents.

Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee Luke Kenley, R-Noblesville, says there’s not much appetite for raising the minimum wage above the federal minimum.

"The philosophical tone of the legislature is in that mode from very conservative to moderately conservative, but they tend to look at the free-market for being the place to go." Kenley says. "And I think that if the federal government changes the federal minimum wage, Indiana will be going along with that, but I don’t think there’s any impetus for us to be the leader on this issue."

Indiana Fiscal Policy Institute President John Ketzenberger says the Republican majority doesn't consider this an issue for lawmakers to sort out.

The General Assembly’s view on this is that the market will take care of itself, and if the market demands additional wages, then they will come. The perception is that it hasn't," Ketzenberger says.

Twenty-nine states have a minimum wage higher than the federal minimum.

Democrats say increasing the wage would help working class Hoosiers, and that no one who works a 40-hour week should be below the federal poverty line.

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