Minimum wage to increase Tuesday - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Minimum wage to increase Tuesday

Some of Kentucky's lowest paid workers are getting a raise this week.  This Tuesday, minimum wage increases by 70 cents an hour.  It may not sound like much but for people struggling to make ends meet every little bit helps.

Three years ago, Deborah Williams had a life threatening brain aneurysm.  Williams says, "I lost everything, my apartment, I couldn't keep stuff in storage so also my furniture."

After losing just about everything, Williams moved into a women's shelter and took a job making minimum wage at Jim Porter's.

Williams says, "I was happy to have a job that paid minimum wage."  But with rising gas prices, minimum wage doesn't leave much extra money.

"There's actually no extra dollars in the pocket."  Williams says.  That should change this week for Williams and about 68,000 other people making minimum wage in Kentucky.

On Tuesday, Kentucky's minimum wage goes from $5.85 to $6.55 an hour about $28 a week.  Williams says the pay raise won't solve her money problems but it's a start.

Williams says, "It just keeps you from sinking lower on the economic level.  We were real pleased that we got the minimum wage passed in '07."

State Representative Jim Wayne voted in favor of the minimum wage bill last year and believe it will help stimulate the market.

Wayne says, "So if the minimum wage is increased then what happens is there's pressure to increase all the wages slightly."

And Wayne would like it to go a step further by tying minimum wage to inflation.  "Because there's no way we'll ever catch up on the original minimum wage that was passed years and years ago if you tagged it to inflation all the time then people would be living better lives."  Wayne

It's a small increase but Deborah Williams believes she will be living a better life after Tuesday's increase.  Williams says, "That 70 cents means whether I'm going to have a meal regularly."

Again, the increase goes into affect this coming Tuesday.  The last increase will take affect a year from now taking minimum wage to $7.25.

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