Democrats in the Wisconsin Legislature, including possible
gubernatorial candidate Sen. Kathleen Vinehout, called on
Republicans Tuesday to hold a public hearing on a bill to increase
the minimum wage.
Democrats sent a letter requesting the hearing.
The request for a
hearing comes as President Barack Obama and Democrats nationally
have been calling for an increase in the minimum wage. Vinehout
also seized on the issue, signing the letter and sending out a
separate column calling for a minimum wage hike.
The bill calling
for the minimum wage increase was introduced in January by Sen.
Bob Wirch, D-Kenosha. It had 33 co-sponsors, all Democrats.
Vinehout did not sign on as a co-sponsor until Dec. 4, more than
10 months later.
travel, I hear many stories from working families who are
struggling to make ends meet," she said in her column
expressing support for the bill. "Low wage workers fall
further and further behind and are more dependent on the state's
cash strapped social safety net programs."
The bill would
increase the minimum wage from $7.25 to $7.60 an hour and then
have it go up automatically after that based on inflation. It's in
the Senate's Judiciary and Labor Committee, chaired by Republican
Sen. Glenn Grothman, of West Bend.
Grothman said he
doesn't support the bill because he believes it will make it
harder for teenagers to secure entry level jobs. Despite his
opposition, Grothman said he still might schedule the bill for a
regular session resumes in January and is scheduled to end in