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Make the Minimum Wage a Living Wage

Hundreds of thousands of Arkansans are working for unacceptably low wages. This inadequate minimum wage means that more working families are struggling to pay their bills and put food on the table.

Just look at the cost of housing: in order to afford a modest, 2-bedroom home in Arkansas, you must earn $13.84 an hour. The minimum wage, under Arkansas state law, is $8.50.

We need an economy that works for all of us. Raising the minimum wage will boost the economy, as working families will have more disposable income to spend, putting money back into local businesses. It will diminish the working family's need for government benefits, saving taxpayer money. And it will promote greater fairness in an economy where CEO pay is sky-rocketing and wage growth for middle and low income families is stagnating.

We must enact federal legislation, such as the Raise the Wage Act, that will address this issue. There has not been a raise in the federal minimum wage for over a decade. While there are laudable efforts at the state level to put the issue of raising the minimum wage on the ballot, we must go further by enacting a national $15 per hour wage.

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