CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – It’s the latest city to raise the minimum wage. Los Angeles just approved $15 an hour. 22News found out what this means for you, and the 2016 presidential elections.
Regardless of political affiliation, your 2016 presidential candidates will have to address the issue of minimum wage. Massachusetts is one of 29 states with a wage higher than the federal minimum of $7.25 an hour.
“No question about it. Minimum wage will be almost as big of an issue as immigration and some of the other hot issues hitting the presidential trail right now,” said political analyst Tony Cignoli.
Candidates within the same parties are debating whether hiking the minimum is the right move. Republican Rand Paul believes a wage hike could actually force business to stop hiring and cut back, ultimately hurting the economy. While his fellow Republican Rick Santorum said the U.S. needs a wage hike to help the middle class.
One group that has consistently pushed for a higher minimum wage is fast food workers. Spurred by the protests, McDonald’s, Target and Wal-Mart have all hiked wages this year.
The National Federation of Independent Business is arguing that many small businesses cannot afford to pay all of their employees $15. Watch the video below to see what they have to say.