Jonathan Brostoff
Press Release

Statement from Rep. Brostoff on $15 Minimum Wage

"Our current minimum wage is shameful"

By - May 1st, 2015 12:38 pm

MADISON – Representative Jonathan Brostoff (D-Milwaukee) released the following statement today in support of a bill, being introduced by Representative Melissa Sargent (D-Madison), that would make minimum wage $15 per hour.

“When adjusted for inflation, federal minimum wage peaked in 1968. Our current minimum wage is shameful,” said Brostoff, “Fulltime employees should never be forced to depend on public services to support their families.”

Milwaukee County’s fair market rent, as determined by HUD, for a 2 bedroom apartment is almost $900 per month. A fulltime employee receiving minimum wage earns just over $1,200 per month gross pay. This leaves a single-parent household less than $300 after payroll deductions for all other costs of living.

Young females are the most likely of any demographic to be employed at minimum wage according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“With the recent ALEC-backed Republican attacks on our state’s unions and prevailing wage requirements, we need to safeguard the middle class any way we can,” Brostoff said. “We cannot allow our legislature’s Republicans to leave Wisconsin families behind.”

Currently, 29 states and the District of Columbia have higher minimum wage standards than Wisconsin’s which remains at the federal level of $7.25 per hour.

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5 thoughts on “Statement from Rep. Brostoff on $15 Minimum Wage”

  1. Braver says:

    Where is Milw. County coming up with $900 as fair RENT on a 2 bedroom apartment????
    This is more than the MORTGAGE I pay for a 3 bedroom house – a portion of which is escrow for my taxes and another portion of which goes to my homeowners insurance.

    This number doesn’t even make sense! How is the county saying that I get an entire house, yard, and garage for less money than an apartment??

  2. Tim says:

    Maybe you should look at how HUD is calculating the number. As I understand it, it looks at the metro area costs not just the city of Milwaukee while including 85% of units available. How low should the number be?

  3. AG says:

    The median household income is more than 3 times higher than a minimum wage earner working full time. So why would you equate the median rent to the amount that the lowest earners in the area would pay for housing?

    More to the point though, is that less than 20% of minimum wage earners are actually supporting a family and the median household income for a min wage earner is over 50k a year.

  4. PMD says:

    So what you don’t care at all about poor people AG? Just let them rot making minimum wage? Real nice.

  5. Tweed says:

    Tim- That would be correct which is why the way HUD currently determines housing really hurts poor people that do not qualify for assistance or only qualify minimally. Rents in the rougher parts of town where many are only making minimum wage are artificially high because the landlords know that more than likely that their tenant will be receiving a subsidy so they charge almost as much to live on 27th and Burleigh as they would in a building in Tosa. They also don’t keep up maintenance as much as they should because the tenant doesn’t care to report because the housing is cheap and they don’t want to rock the boat. What would really help minimum wage earners’ quality of life (I support raising the minimum wage but only to $10/hr) is base the housing subsidy on census tract rather than metro which would help rents either fall or not keep increasing another $50-$100 bucks a year.

    I’m guilty of this myself. We charge $700 for a lower unit that is located between Atkinson and Capitol and receive right on time every month a $500 check from the city and a week or so later she ( makes $10/hr as a hotel housekeeper) pays us the other $200. It’s not that I don’t care but it’s a business decision. I know I can charge that much in a rough neighborhood and will receive the asking price because of housing. The only difference is that we strive to maintain the place better than other properties nearby.

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