FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MARCH 11, 2019
Contact: Kaleb Harmon
Louisiana Democratic Party Supports Allowing Local Governments to Set Own Minimum Wage
BATON ROUGE, LA – On Monday, a coalition of advocates for a minimum wage increase launched a campaign to overturn a 1997 law banning local governments from setting their own minimum wages.
The Louisiana Democratic Party fully supports the initiative to overturn the out-of-date law. Recently, the party passed several resolutions in support of minimum wage initiatives and the coalition’s efforts are in line with the party’s values.
“In the wealthiest nation on earth, it’s a disgrace that anyone who works full time can live in poverty – but one-fifth of Louisianians are,” Senator Karen Carter Peterson, Chair of the Louisiana Democratic Party said. “Our minimum wage simply isn’t enough for working people to provide for their families. Local governments know what their communities need to thrive and should have the ability to set their own minimum wage. These municipalities are independent of the legislature – they should be allowed to act independently. It’s imperative the legislature finally supports Gov. Edwards’ minimum wage increase but, if they continue to stand in the way, our local governments have a right to provide for their citizens’ best interests.”
“Just last weekend, we passed a resolution supporting an increase in the minimum wage and we’re throwing our full support behind increases at the local level as well. This is an issue we’ve advocated for in the past and we’re excited to see Rep. Duplessis and Sen. Carter lead the way.”
On March 3, 2018, the Louisiana Democratic Party’s Democratic State Central Committee endorsed a resolution to allow municipalities to self-regulate minimum wage independent of the state legislature. The Party cited that:
- The current minimum wage in Louisiana is $7.25 an hour, which requires working 75 hours a week to afford the average one bedroom rental apartment;
- This wage is insufficient for working people to support themselves and their families, especially in cities with high cost of living;
- Republican state legislators rejected raising the minimum wage in May of 2017 and cannot be counted on to ensure a livable wage for workers in the future;
- The Louisiana Democratic Party recognizes that municipalities are independent and should be able to act independently of the state legislature in the interest of their residents;
- Municipalities should be allowed to establish a higher minimum wage than the current Federal Minimum wage to an amount that adequately supports working people;
On March 9, 2019, the Louisiana Democratic Party passed a resolution supporting Gov. Edwards’ proposal for minimum wage increases.