Arkansas votes to increase minimum wage to $11 per hour

Irving Hamilton
November 8, 2018

A majority of voters approved an initiative that will gradually raise the wage floor throughout the state to $12 per hour.

Proposition B will increase the minimum wage to $8.60 per hour, with annual 85 cent increases until 2023, when the minimum will sit at $12. The law then raises the wage to $10 an hour on January 1, 2020, and $11 an hour on January 1, 2021. The Missouri minimum wage, now set at $7.85, will bump to $8.60 next year, then increase 85 cents each year thereafter until it reaches $12 in 2023.

The state's current minimum wage of $7.85 per hour means a person working full-time hours would earn just over $16,000 a year. The Fairness Project is an advocacy group that supported the measures.

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Some cities in Missouri have tried to raise the minimum wage on their own, only to be stymied by Republicans in the state Capitol. The Kansas City Star reported it was the largest single contribution in the state in the last two years. In some cases, wage hikes were rescinded for low-wage employees.

Pay for the top 1 percent of American workers has soared, however. Currently, 29 states and Washington, D.C., have higher minimum wages than the federal rate, according to EPI.

On the heels of the success of the measures in Missouri and Arkansas, Louisiana Governor Jon Bel Edwards said it was time for his state to consider a similar move. The minimum wage increase will be the first significant one in Missouri since a referendum passed in 2006.

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