Referred Law 20: Youth Minimum Wage

Referred Law 20 was originally Senate Bill 177, passed by the South Dakota Legislature and signed into law by Governor Dennis Daugaard in March 2015. In November 2014, South Dakota voters approved Initiated Measure 18, which raised the minimum wage from $7.25 to $8.50 an hour, with an annual cost-of-living adjustment. Senator David Novstrup (R-3/Aberdeen) proposed SB 177 to create a separate youth minimum wage of $7.50 per hour with no yearly cost-of-living adjustment. I started a petition drive to refer this law to a public vote, and enough South Dakota voters signed my petition to stop this law from taking effect and put it on the 2016 ballot.

Key Provisions:

  1. RL 20 exempts workers under 18 from the state’s general minimum wage laws.
  2. RL 20 sets a minimum wage of $7.50 per hour for workers under age 18.
  3. RL 20 leaves the youth minimum wage at $7.50/hour indefinitely, while the general minimum wage rises by the annual cost-of-living adjustment approved by voters in 2014.

Click for Full Text: Senate Bill 177, “An Act to establish a youth minimum wage.”

Read More:

  1. Dakota Free Press coverage of Referred Law 20
  2. Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce issue brief on RL 20, July 2016
  3. John Tsitrian, “SD Dems Would Be Smart To Lead The Charge On Referring The Youth Minimum Wage Law,” The Constant Commoner, 2015.03.24.