At a townhall focused on the topic of a minimum wage increase, the question was raised about tying a wage hike to full time work only. State Senator Vicki Jensen, (D Owatonna) gave an honest and upfront answer.
One man suggested that a minimum wage increase be considered only for full-time workers. Jensen was quick to point out that a change such as that would leave people with a host of problems.
“If you make a minimum wage increase for, say, workers that put in 30 hours or more per week,” Jensen said. “We’d see a lot of employers hiring people for 29 hours a week just to keep them classified as part-time.”
No one in the audience disagreed; instead there were a lot of people nodding their heads in agreement.
The employer mandate has been postponed for a year, so the effects of it wont be felt for a while yet. But while Democrats continue to maintain that there wont be any widespread cutting of hours, the truth is that if employers would cut hours to avoid a minimum wage hike, they will certainly cut hours to avoid dealing with the calamity that is Obamacare.
Incidentally, I asked the question of Sen Jensen intentionally. Minimum wage supporters keep telling us that an increase is needed for people working full time and trying to support a family. Logic says that they could raise wages for full time workers without raising the wage for all of the high school students and other part time workers by tying the rate hike to only full time work. A full time minimum wage hike only would, in theory, cut out most of the adverse effects of the increase. Since we know the minimum wage increase will come up in the next legislative session, Republicans should add the full time only idea as an amendment and let Democrats try to argue against it.