State Rep. Jonathan Brostoff
Press Release

Brostoff Supports Minimum Wage Increase

Candidate for State Assembly Calls for $15 per Hour Living Wage in Wisconsin

By - Sep 22nd, 2014 07:43 am

MILWAUKEE – Jonathan Brostoff, District Director for Senate Democratic Leader Chris Larson (D-Milwaukee) and candidate for State Assembly in District 19, called for a minimum wage increase to $15 per hour in Wisconsin.

“As attempts to raise the federal minimum wage are blocked, our state must fight to ensure that its workers earn enough to provide for themselves and their families.” Brostoff said in the statement. “Raising the minimum wage to a $15 per hour living wage is fundamental to improving the lives of thousands of families in Wisconsin and throughout the country.”

The demand for a higher minimum wage follows a recent study by economist John Schmitt with the Center for Economic and Policy Research. Schmitt found that in the United States since 1979, the increase in worker productivity has greatly surpassed the increase in inflation-adjusted wages, while the value of the minimum wage has actually decreased. Essentially, our country’s workers are not being paid appropriately for the amount of labor they perform. According to Schmitt, the federal minimum wage would have to be $16 per hour to reflect worker productivity.

“Unfortunately, the current minimum wage of $7.25 per hour does not allow workers to meet basic living costs without additional jobs or government assistance.” Brostoff continues. “By increasing the minimum wage to $15 per hour, Wisconsin could create a living wage that allows workers to provide for themselves and their families with less reliance upon government assistance. This is both a social and economic issue for our state.”

According to Ken Jacobs with the Center for Labor Research and Education, fifty-two percent of fast food workers in the United States are enrolled in public assistance programs like food stamps. If fast food and other workers that rely upon the minimum wage are compensated more fairly through a living wage, our country and our state could see a decrease in the need for taxpayer-funded government assistance.

“But raising the minimum wage is not enough,” said Brostoff. “We must also work to develop more living wage jobs and connect workers to the training needed for middle skills jobs. We must close tax loopholes for corporations and rein in the gross disparity between those who earn the most and those who earn the least. We must act as a state to promote the economic stability that Wisconsin’s working families so greatly deserve.”

Jonathan Brostoff is the District Director for Senate Democratic Leader Chris Larson (D-Milwaukee) and is a candidate for State Assembly in District 19. A longtime resident and community leader in the district, Brostoff is dedicated to bringing effective, progressive leadership to the state legislature. The general election is on November 4th.

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