Here’s a Chamber of Commerce Republican who sign a petition to refer Senate Bill 177, the youth minimum wage, to a public vote. Rapid City businessman and blogger John Tsitrian says that modifying the voter-approved minimum wage increase to cut a buck from kids’ hourly pay is arrogant:
The measure was all-encompassing in its wording, ordering “every” employer in South Dakota to pay “each” employee $8.50/hour, with a built in cost-of-living adjustment included in the measure. Seems pretty simple and direct. There are some exemptions, but as a practical matter this affects virtually every employer and employee in the state. That a majority of Republican legislators and Republican Governor Daugaard refuse to understand the words “every” and “each” is a matter of record [John Tsitrian, “SD Dems Would Be Smart to Lead the Charge on Referring the Youth Minimum Wage Law,” The Constant Commoner, 2015.03.24].
…insulting to families…
Daugaard’s casual assumption that the money teenagers earn is of no importance to their families goes against the grain of history and reality. I know plenty of situations where the money earned by the youngsters in a family is pooled and spent or saved–especially like things for college and vo-tech educations. That’s especially true in a state like ours, filled with family farms and family-operated businesses. The work these kids do and the money they earn for it MATTER, Governor Daugaard [Tsitrian, 2015.03.25].
…and a great chance for Democrats to rally and recruit:
Downtrodden Dems in South Dakota could use a good rallying point, and I can’t think of a better one than finding the 13,000 or so petition signatures that it would take to get the Governor’s willful devaluation of young workers on the November, 2016, ballot [Tsitrian, 2015.03.24].
Dems! Are you listening to Tsitrian? Don’t think of a referendum as a cost; think of it as an investment in youth and the party’s future.