All Nebraskans value hard work. All Nebraskans want an economy that provides opportunity. Nebraska has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country and one of the highest rates of working parents. Yet, despite working hard, too many Nebraska families are struggling to prosper, and it is weighing down our economy and support system.
In the upcoming November election, voters will be provided the opportunity to increase state minimum wage from $7.25 per hour to $9 per hour by 2016. Why is this important? Because jobs must pay enough for workers to meet their basic needs—like paying for a doctor visit or putting gas in the car. At the current minimum wage, a full-time salary is about $15,000 per year, far below what any workers need to support themselves and their families in any community in Nebraska. As a result, the lines are becoming blurred between the middle class, the working poor, and those who are living in absolute poverty.