Scott Walker Strips Wisconsin Workers of ‘Living Wage’ in New State Budget
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) signed the new state budget into law on Sunday with a last-minute change that strips the words “living wage” from state laws and replaces it with “minimum wage.”
The change means minimum-wage Wisconsin workers will earn nearly $6,000 per year less than what the Massachusetts Institute of Technology calculates is a living wage in the state. And they will have no recourse, according to the Center for American Progress. MIT says a living wage would be $10.13 an hour.
The new law eliminates the ability of low-wage workers to appeal for a living wage. Previously, Wisconsin law stated that employee pay “shall be not less than a living wage,” defined as “adequate to permit any employee to maintain herself or himself in minimum comfort, decency, physical and moral well-being.” Wisconsin’s living wage was tied to the state minimum wage, currently $7.25 an hour.