South Dakota’s Board of Economic Development has raised the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour… for businesses seeking 2% loans from the Revolving Economic Development and Initiative (REDI) Fund:
South Dakota businesses that receive low-interest loans from state government in the future will need to pay employees more competitive wages.
The state Board of Economic Development revised its policies Friday. The new standard is a $15 minimum wage. It had been $10.50 since 2012.
The board set a starting target of at least $20 per hour for most jobs and a $25 minimum for preferred jobs such as at engineering and technology firms [Bob Mercer, “S.D. Raises Wage Standards for Business Loans,” KELO-TV, 2021.10.22].
No, Bernie Sanders didn’t sneak into the meeting and steal the gavel from chairman Jeffory Erickson. That Watertown Republican über-banker agrees with Democratic Senator and non-voting Board of Economic Development member Reynold Nesiba that expecting businesses to pay at least $15 an hour is “a step [!} in the right direction.”
Perhaps Chairman Erickson should push to extend this minimum wage to all of South Dakota’s corporate handouts: if you’re not paying South Dakotans at least $15 an hour, you’re not producing enough economic benefit to justify taxpayer support.