County leaders are divided. Not just on minimum wage, but if it's something they should be dealing with at all. On Tuesday, Polk county, the largest in Iowa is moving forward with a wage bump which could go up to $10.75 over the next three years.
"Everyone needs to own this in order to help our struggling communities," says Woodbury County Board of Supervisor Jackie Smith.
"They have asked the county to impose a new minimum wage on the cities, and yet cities have exempted themselves where this has been tried before," says Woodbury County Board of Supervisor Jeremy Taylor.
The Woodbury County Board of Supervisors met to discuss raising the minimum wage. This is the second time within the last month it's been brought up. But, on a vote of three to two, the idea of taking a position on the matter was shot down.
"We're going to basically keep our eye on true economic development that helps to raise the wages of all people and make them living wages, not just obsess about a minimum wage," Taylor.
But one state leader says, that's not enough.
"If you were to increase the minimum wage from $7.25 to $9, that shift would directly impact 10,000 workers," says Iowa State representative Chris Hall.
Hall says about one in five workers who are 20-years-old or older are living in poverty in Woodbury county. Half of those work full-time.
He believes if they made more money, everyone would benefit.
"They spend those dollars, it turns over the economy, it ends up being spent at local businesses at a higher rate, it is rarely put into a savings account. It's something that is helping people put food on their table, cover their energy costs, cover their gas and transportation to get to work," says Hall.
A group of concerned citizens continues to bring this issue up to the county board. They say they'll keep doing that, even after the November election.
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