Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jack Hatch is using today’s date to challenge Governor Terry Branstad.
Hatch on March 4th asked the governor and legislature to “march forth and raise the minimum wage.”
At a rally he hosted at the Statehouse, Hatch and other democratic leaders say they support increasing Iowa’s minimum wage to $10.10 an hour.
Hatch says that would allow more than 300-thousand Iowans to get a pay raise and it would plug an extra $272 million into the state’s economy.
The last time Iowa raised the minimum wage was in 2007, under Chet Culver. The rate jumped from $5.15 to $7.25.
Hatch says raising the rate by $3 would cause more people to be less dependent on government assistance.
“Raising the minimum wage is nothing new for the governor, he’s done it twice before, he knows the benefit that this will have on working families,” Hatch says. “It’s up to us as politicians and leaders to show the way so that we can implement a wage increase that will benefit Iowa families, help businesses, and move this country, move this state forward.”
Governor Branstad won’t say he’s against raising Iowa’s minimum wage this year but he also won’t say he’s for it.
The governor’s office released a statement in response to Hatch’s rally, “More Iowans are working today than at any point in our state’s history. Under the leadership of Governor Branstad and Lt. Governor Reynolds, more than 130,000 jobs have been created and the unemployment rate has dropped to the 5th lowest in the nation at 4.2%.
“Branstad-Reynolds will continue to recruit high quality jobs to Iowa and strive to create an environment where family incomes grow, the unemployment rate remains low, and businesses can expand and hire more Iowans.”