Burke Says Raising Minimum Wage Would Reduce Dependence On Government

Mary Burke
Candidate for governor Mary Burke.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke said Wisconsin needs to raise its minimum wage to make people less dependent on government programs.

Burke wants to raise the minimum wage in three steps over the course of two years from $7.25 an hour to $10.10 an hour. She said increasing workers’ take home pay will help the economy by increasing employee morale and reducing turnover. She also said it will help out state government because those workers will be able to afford things that the government pays for now.

“(Keeping) $7.25 an hour ensures dependence on government assistance,” Burke said. “This doesn’t make sense for those workers, and it doesn’t make sense from a budget standpoint.”

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Asked about the proposal, Gov. Scott Walker criticized Burke for a lack of ideas.

“That’s what happens when you don’t have a jobs plan: you pretend to have one by pointing at something like that,” Walker said. “We have a jobs plan, we’ve been implementing it, we’ll continue to implement it.”

Walker said the best way to raise wages in the state is to help employers create jobs that surpass minimum wages.

Asked about Walker’s comments, Burke called them typical for a career politician. She said she’ll unveil her own jobs plan in the next month or two, adding it’s important that she take her time since she expects to implement this plan once she’s elected.