BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – A bill that would raise Louisiana’s minimum wage to $14 per hour by 2028 was approved by a Louisiana State Senate Committee.

The Labor & Industrial Relations Committee approved SB149 from State Senator Gary Carter on a 3-2 vote.

SB149 proposes raising the minimum wage to $10 an hour starting January 1, 2024, $12 an hour starting January 1, 2026, and $14 an hour starting January 1, 2028.

The bill is part of Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards’ legislative package.

In thanking the committee for advancing the bill, Edwards said it’s time for the state’s minimum wage to go up.

“It is embarrassing and immoral that our minimum wage is still the federal minimum of $7.25 an hour in 2023. I urge the full Senate to pass this bill” said Edwards.

A companion bill in the Louisiana House failed to make it out of committee.

The National Federation of Independent Business called SB149 an ill-conceived, harmful, and unnecessary bill.

“Small business owners already are paying well above the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour to attract and keep the best candidates. Creating a state minimum wage of $10 an hour would put pressure on employers to pay hourly workers even more. If that happens, employers will be forced to make tough choices in order to balance higher wages with rising costs. In practical terms, that means they’ll probably have to cut positions or reduce hours, something that would hurt the very people supporters of this bill say they’re trying to help.”

SB149 will now be debated by the full Senate.