Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Asa Hutchinson, long opponent of minimum wage increase referendum, wants you to think otherwise

Posted By on Tue, Sep 2, 2014 at 9:03 AM

click to enlarge FOR AND AGAINST: Mike Ross supports and Asa Hutchinson opposes a ballot measure to increase the minimum wage in Arkansas.
  • FOR AND AGAINST: Mike Ross supports and Asa Hutchinson opposes a ballot measure to increase the minimum wage in Arkansas.
The secretary of state's office says it hopes to complete by today or tomorrow the certification of signatures on the referendum to raise the state's minimum wage from $6.25 an hour to $8.50 an hour by 2017.

Democrats uniformly have expressed support for the initiative, which is in step with overwhelming public opinion polling. It's a good campaign issue, if not necessarily a voter turnout issue.

If there's a Republican candidate for office who definitively supports the ballot initiative, I've yet to see one. But they have developed a finesse as embodied by a statement by Republican gubernatorial candidate Asa Hutchinson:

... I wanted to take a moment to reiterate my consistent support for increasing our state’s minimum wage. The ballot initiative, if confirmed on the ballot and passed, may accomplish this, but if it fails to pass, I pledge to work with the legislature to raise the minimum wage to at least match the federal minimum wage of $7.25. Our overall goal as a state should be to not just increase the minimum wage but to increase the living wage for an Arkansas family to make this state the best place to work, live and raise a family.

This statement falls short of an endorsement of the ballot initiative.  Hutchinson has previously said he preferred a legislative solution and has gone no farther than matching the existing federal wage, which guarantees Arkansas would soon be far behind again.

Democrats say it's simple. Regnat Populus.  If you don't endorse the measure, you oppose it. 

There's something a bit dishonest in Hutchinson's compassion for minimum wage earners in a release headlined misleading "Hutchinson reaffirms support for minimum wage increase." Reaffirms what? This is his expressed opinion on the measure, dating back to last year:

.I do not support an increase in the amounts set in the ballot initiative. I do not support an increase in the amounts set in the ballot initiative. I do believe the minimum wage needs to be increased and it should be considered when the General Assembly meets again. The amount of any increase should be based upon economic factors at that time,

You don't need to read carefully to see that he's even built in some wiggle room on a legislative increase to $7.25, depending on "economic factors." Mike Ross, the Democratic candidate, has repeatedly expressed support for the ballot measure. Clear choice on this issue.

Tags: , , , ,

Favorite

Speaking of...

Comments (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Dexter Suggs resigns as Little Rock school superintendent

    This just in from state Education Department: Today, Commissioner Johnny Key reached an agreement with Dr. Dexter Suggs that resulted in Dr. Suggs’ immediate resignation as superintendent of the Little Rock School District.
    • Apr 21, 2015
  • LR speakers blast state board for double standard

    A series of speakers, beginning with Sen. Joyce Elliott, denounced what they saw as a hidden agenda favoring charter schools at the state Department of Education and asked the state Board of Education for return of local control.
    • May 12, 2016
  • More legal headaches for Dexter Suggs

    Dexter Suggs may have cleared out his office before the workday began today, but he still has lingering legal matters as defendant in lawsuits against him and the state.
    • Apr 21, 2015

Most Shared

  • Department of Arkansas Heritage archeologist resigns

    Bob Scoggin, 50, the Department of Arkansas Heritage archeologist whose job it was to review the work of agencies, including DAH and the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department, for possible impacts on historic properties, resigned from the agency on Monday. Multiple sources say Scoggin, whom they describe as an "exemplary" employee who the week before had completed an archeological project on DAH property, was told he would be fired if he did not resign.
  • Labor department director inappropriately expensed out-of-state trips, audit finds

    Jones was "Minority Outreach Coordinator" for Hutchinson's 2014 gubernatorial campaign. The governor first named him as policy director before placing him over the labor department instead in Jan. 2015, soon after taking office.
  • Lawsuit filed against ADC officials, prison chaplain convicted of sexual assault at McPherson

    A former inmate who claims she was sexually assaulted over 70 times by former McPherson Womens' Unit chaplain Kenneth Dewitt has filed a federal lawsuit against Dewitt, several staff members at the prison, and officials with the Arkansas Department of Corrections, including former director Ray Hobbs.
  • Rapert compares Bill Clinton to Orval Faubus

    Sen. Jason Rapert (R-Conway)  was on "Capitol View" on KARK, Channel 4, this morning, and among other things that will likely inspire you to yell at your computer screen, he said he expects someone in the legislature to file a bill to do ... something about changing the name of the Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport.

Visit Arkansas

Arkansas remembers Pearl Harbor

Arkansas remembers Pearl Harbor

Central Arkansas venues have a full week of commemorative events planned

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2016 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation