Jonathan Ellis writes up our successful referendum drives and gives more ink to quotes from the main opponent of one referendum than he does to anyone who wanted to put either bad law to a public vote.
Ellis speaks to Senator David Novstrup (R-3/Aberdeen), prime sponsor of Senate Bill 177, now Referred Law 20, the youth minimum wage. Ellis gives Novstrup 49 words in direct quotes to reheat his baloney about how paying kids less means giving them more opportunity…
Sen. David Novstrup, an Aberdeen Republican who sponsored SB 177, said he thought a youth minimum wage was necessary because the inflationary increases to the minimum wage might have priced some youths out of the job market.
“That was going to make it harder for young people – especially people who haven’t had a job before – to get into the workforce and get a job,” he said.
Novstrup noted that his law did not repeal what voters approved in 2014, only added to it. The measure had widespread support from retailers, hotels and other businesses. And the $7.50 youth minimum wage was $1 more than Minnesota’s [Jonathan Ellis, “Youth Minimum Wage, Election Reform Measures Headed to 2016 Ballot,” that Sioux Falls paper, 2015.06.30].
…and about how we supposedly haven’t debated the youth minimum wage:
Novstrup said the referral is part of the process, and that the statewide vote would allow for more debate on the issue.
“There hasn’t really been a debate about a youth minimum wage – if there should be one and where it should be at,” he said [Ellis, 2015.06.30].
Funny: South Dakota never exempted young people from past increases in the minimum wage. We’ve had one minimum wage for all workers for decades, and teenagers seem to have been able to get jobs at Dairy Queen and Thunder Road just fine.
Also funny: Novstrup says with a straight face that he didn’t try to repeal what voters approved; he just added to it. Novstrup here plays word games. Voters said everyone should get at least $8.50 an hour, plus cost-of-living adjustments. Novstrup and his Republican colleagues said not everyone should get at least $8.50 an hour, plus cost-of-living adjustments. Novstrup’s measure took away part of what voters said they wanted. Novstrup can try to get us chasing our semantic tails, but the fact is he undid something voters enacted. He attempted to repeal a specific labor protection for workers under age 18.
Really funny: Novstrup falls back on his false claim that we haven’t debated whether young workers deserve the same minimum wage as other workers. We had this discussion during the 2014 campaign. We’ve debated the minimum wage for young workers, and 55% of South Dakotans said in November 2014, “Give ’em $8.50.” But hey, David, if you want to have that debate again, I’ll be glad to meet you. We’ll debate it again, and my side will win again.
Ellis offers no quotes in opposition to Novstrup’s triple-decker baloney hoagie on Referred Law 20. Ellis offers ten words of direct yet non-specific quote from Libertarian chairman Ken Santema on Senate Bill 69, now known as Referred Law 19—”Senate Bill 69 had a lot of people attacking it.”
And me? Heck, Ellis can’t even spell my name right, let alone seek some enlightenment on the issues. (Ah, but there I go antagonizing the press, when I should be courting their favor as we take two important issues to the 2016 general election!)