Raising Minimum Wage - KLFY News 10

Raising Minimum Wage

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In Tuesday night's State of the Union Address, President Obama delivered an ambitious second term agenda. One of his proposals was raising the minimum wage from $7.25 to $9.

 

"For businesses across the country it will mean customers with more money in their pockets," said Obama.

 But House Speaker Boehner says the president is only sentencing Americans to higher unemployment.

 "Why would we want to make it harder for small employers to hire people?" said Boehner.

 Other house Republicans like Congressman Charles Boustany are standing behind Boehner.

 In a statement released by Boustany he said: "The federal government must allow for small businesses and entrepreneurs to keep more money in their own hands in order to make the necessary decisions to expand and grow."

 In Acadiana, Boustany's sentiments were—for small business owners—right on the money.

 "Kind of hard with the economy the way it is now to pay people more money when you're not making more money. So, like I said, it's a lose-lose situation," said small business owner Cotty Champagne.

 Champagne's family-owned grocery store has been in the Erath community for over 46 years and as of Wednesday has between 20 to 22 minimum wage earning employees.

Champagne says he is not planning any layoffs with a wage rise, but also won't be hiring unless he is replacing a position.

 "If it was raised up to $9, then it would be better for the employees, because you'd get more money," said Bryce Taylor, 17, an employee of Champagne's.

 Taylor who earns minimum wage and works for Champagne says he is not paying for college and only working to buy new shoes.

 But he says with an increase in wages comes an increase in the cost of living, which would make Obama's plan—pointless.

 When he was asked about a possible wage hike, he said: "The cost of living goes up, then it was kind of like the same it is now."

  Darren Robert

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