Minimum wage hike nixed

Another attempt to increase the state’s minimum wage died Thursday.

The Senate Labor and Industrial Relations Committee voted 3-1 against a measure that would have set the minimum pay at $10 an hour.

The federal minimum wage rate is $7.25 an hour, which President Barack Obama is trying to increase to $10.10. Other states have varying minimum wage laws.

“We should make sure the people who work for us every day at least make a living wage,” said state Sen. Yvonne Dorsey-Colomb, D-Baton Rouge. “It should be embarrassing to us that we don’t pay our people at least $10 an hour.”

Testifying against the bill was Dawn Starns, state director for the National Federation of Independent Businesses.

“We feel that state taxpayer dollars should be used as wisely as possible. We certainly think there’s a need but the fiscal situation of the state does not provide for this knd of increase at this point,” said Starns.

The Jindal administration filed a red card noting its opposition to the bill.

Voting to defer action on Senate Bill 46 were state Sens. Ronnie Johns, R-Lake Charles, Barrow Peacock, R-Bossier City, and Neil Riser, R-Columbia. Voting against deferral was state Sen. Ed Murray, D-New Orleans.