South Dakota Voters Get Chance to Raise Minimum Wage

It's been 5 years since the last federal minimum wage hike, and congress failed to act on the matter this year. But locally, South Dakotans will have the opportunity to take matters into their own hands on November 4th. Initiated measure 18 is a proposed raise the minimum wage in the state to $8.50 per hour. "Raising the minimum wage is one of the few issues in politics today that actually transcends parties. Polling in South Dakota, and nationally, shows that over 50 percent of Republicans support raising the minimum wage. That number is closer to 70 percent of Independents and closer to 90 percent for Democrats," says Exec. Director of the SD Democratic Zach Crago. After just a few months, over 1 thousand organizers and volunteers collected more than 26 thousand signatures to get the measure on the ballot. Crago says, "here in South Dakota preliminary data shows that 62 thousand South Dakotans will earn more if Initiated Measure 18 passes. 62 thousand people and they aren't high school students. In fact, 78 percent of them are older than 20." The current minimum wage in South Dakota is $7.25 per hour and $2.13 for food servers. If the measure passes it is estimated that a South Dakotan working full-time at minimum wage would see a 21 hundred dollar income boost.