Candidate Calls Minimum Wage ‘Great Starter Wage for Many High School Students’

ANKENY, Iowa–U.S. Senate candidate Joni Ernst, a Red Oak state senator, said Tuesday she doesn’t support a plan to raise the federal minimum wage because it should be a state’s issue. And she said a “one size fits all” policy doesn’t fit in this case.

Ernst said, “These are entry-level jobs and would love to have enough jobs that people are moving up into greater paying jobs.”

She said states are different with factors like cost of living so the federal government shouldn’t mandate a certain wage that applies to all states. Ernst also said she considers the wage appropriate for beginners. “I think $7.25 is a great starter wage for many high school students. They are just getting into work.”

A 2013 Pew Research study found more than 3/4 of minimum wage workers are not teenagers. 

Ernst’s comments came following the announcement she earned the endorsement of the National Federation of Independent Business. The group’s Iowa State Director Kirsten Failor said, “We have more than 10,000 small business members and over 350,000 nationwide. These business owners need a voice in Washington. And that voice is Joni’s.”

Ernst toured Ankeny-based Accumold, a company with approximately 200 employees. The company specializes in products like making components for hearing aids and black boxes in military jets.

Later in the day, the Iowa Farm Bureau also announced its endorsement of Ernst with its “Friend of Agriculture” designation. The group counts 153,000 families statewide.




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