There are several things to note about the astonishing developments yesterday in the battle over the minimum wage. Most importantly, it is important to remember that it ain’t over till it’s over.
The state Senate took everyone by surprise yesterday when Republicans agreed to gradually raise the minimum wage by nearly$2 an hour and partly index it to the inflation rate.
Barely a week ago, Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville was adamantly claiming he wanted absolutely no rise in the present state minimum wage of $7.40 an hour.
Then, he introduced a bill that would have increased it to by 75 cents an hour, but one that contained a poison pill. His bill would have not only changed the rate, but would have repealed and replaced the old statute.
There’s a reason for that. There’s petition drive to change the old law and raise the minimum to $10.10 an hour.
Richardville reasoned this would short-circuit the petition drive. You can’t amend a law that doesn’t exist. But there were dangers for Republicans in that approach, too. It is pretty clear there is considerable sentiment for raising the minimum wage.