By Action Network member Wendy Limbert
Originally published in the Newport Daily News
January 17, 2015
To the editor:
As we head into the holiday weekend, Rhode Island should congratulate itself for helping to lead the way as one of 21 states that increased their minimum wage for 2015. Minimum wages jobs are no longer the province of teenagers working part time. The majority of such workers are over age 20, and about a third are 40 or older. Over half of minimum wage workers are working full-time.
Raising the minimum wage benefits everyone, because the additional dollars are spent immediately, going straight back into our community. As a member of 9 to 5, the National Association of Working Women, I believe the next steps should be to raise the minimum for tipped workers (currently only $2.89 per hour) and index the state minimum wage to inflation. Both of these provisions were on the table, but were stripped from the final legislation.
Continued progress toward a living wage for all workers would be a great way to honor the work and memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.