On Thursday, the Kentucky House of Representatives passed House Bill 1 (HB1), a bill to increase the minimum wage from $7.25/hour to $10.10/hour over the course of the next three years. The enactment of this bill could signify an economic turning point for thousands of Kentuckians and Kentucky families who are struggling to make ends meet.
Currently, 400,000 Kentuckians earn at or below the $7.25 minimum wage. One in four Kentucky children live in a home where at least one parent is a minimum wage earner. The average Kentucky minimum wage earner is a woman over 25, with at least one child, making approximately $15,080 a year. Increasing the minimum wage will add an additional $5,928 a year to many single-parent homes - helping to keep the heat on, provide daycare, purchase school supplies and put food on the table.
Additionally, many students working their way through college earn minimum wage and this additional $2.95/hour could make the difference between paying for that next semester or dropping out.
The Kentucky Young Democrats commend Speaker Stumbo and the House Democratic Leadership for making this issue a top priority in their legislative agenda. Too Kentuckians work too hard to make so little. We believe all Kentuckians deserve a living wage. A living wage could be a foundation for making sure more Kentuckians have the opportunity to pursue their American dream.
HB1 passed the House 54-44, but its prospects in the Senate look bleak - for now. WE NEED YOUR HELP! Please take a moment over the next few days and contact your State Senator and ask them to support the passage of HB1! (You can find your State Senator HERE.)
Tell them this is a bill designed to help brighten the future for young Kentuckians. Tell them this is a family values bill that will strengthen Kentucky's families. Tell them 61% of Kentuckians support raising the minimum wage! And tell them it's just the right thing to do!
For more information on the overall economic impact of increasing the minimum wage you can view the recent Economic Policy Institute study HERE.
We can make the difference!
PS. If you can, please take a moment to thank the House Democratic Leadership for standing up for Kentucky workers and Kentucky families!