Riser will not support increase in Louisiana's minimum wage
Posted on 1/13/2016 10:11:00 AM.
Governor John Bel Edwards wants to raise the minimum wage in Louisiana but he's facing opposition from a key member of the Senate.  Columbia Senator Neil Riser, new Senate Labor Committee Chairman, says he will oppose any bill that raises Louisiana's minimum wage.  

Riser says a minimum wage increase would do further harm to the state's fragile economy.
 "We have business in Louisiana really struggling, right now.  Even in our oil field, right now, 25-percent of the workforce has been laid off and I'm hearing numbers, by June, it could be up to 50-percent."

The governor reportedly wants to increase the state's minimum wage to $8.25 an hour, one dollar above the federal minimum that Louisiana currently recognizes.  Riser says a minimum wage hike would also harm job creation.  He says, at this time, the state's business community cannot support the pay hike.

"They're clearly laying off people, right now.  I don't think that can be disputed that people are being laid off all over the state."

Any bill that would raise Louisiana's minimum wage would likely come through Riser's committee.  Riser feels $7.25 an hour gives employees a fair starting point.

"Businesses hire people to give them a start and give them a skill level and develop a skill level.  When you develop that skill level, you move on to higher paying jobs."
Louisiana, politics, minimum wage, John Bel Edwards, Neil Riser

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