• Small Businesses Oppose Minimum Wage In Nebraska, Big Companies Don’t Care

    Supporters of a minimum wage ballot initiave in Nebraska have spent $73,000 in a bid to see the state raise the wage rate to $9 dollars an hour, the Washington Times reports.

    The recent push to raise wage rates in Nebraska makes it the first state this year to see any ads related to the minimum wage. In its current form, the proposed minimum wage increase would bump wages up from a rate of $7.15 an hour, the federal minimum, to $9 dollars by 2016. So far, the organization of supporters, Nebraskans for Better Wages, has received more money than opponents of the minimum wage, with the current figure at $1.2 million dollars. The ads the group has paid for mostly target women, since 70 percent of Nebraska’s minimum wage earners are female.

    Opponents of the minimum wage have been relegated to spreading the word door-to-door and holding small meetings.

    “We just can’t match that broadcasting of our message statewide as long and loud as the proponents of the minimum wage increase,” said Doug Kagan, president of Nebraska Taxpayers for Freedom. “They have so much more money than we do, and more access to TV and radio advertising.”

    Small business owners are vehemently opposed to the measure, but are unable to mobilize without support from larger industry groups. And since the president of the Nebraska Chamber of Commerce and Industry has said that its members already pay above the minimum wage, opposition doesn’t appear to be in the cards. Twenty-three other states have already increased wages beyond the federal minimum, including New Jersey, which approved a boost up to $8.25 an hour as a baseline.

    Despite the support in in Nebraska, a report earlier in February by the Congressional Budget Office stated that raising the minimum wage to a new $10.10 an hour would result in job loss to the tune of 500,000 positions across the U.S.

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