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LA: Minimum wage increase and equal pay legislation fails on Senate floor

Apr 02, 2018 11:46AM ● By Flint Zerangue, Sr.
(LA Radio Network) Louisiana: Minimum wage increase, pay secrecy and equal pay for women legislation all died on the Senate floor Tuesday night. The bills are a major part of Governor John Bel Edwards agenda.

New Orleans Senator Troy Carter's bill would have increased the minimum wage from the federal level of $7.25-per-hour to $8.00 in 2019 and $8.50 by 2020.

Carter says raising the minimum wage would reward those who chose to work, instead of living off of government assistance.

"These are people who say I don't want your welfare, I want work for your money, I want to get up in the morning and put in a full day's work and I want a living wake," Carter said.

No one spoke in opposition to Carter's legislation, but business groups have raised concerns that a higher minimum wage would lead to fewer jobs and less opportunity for businesses to expand.

The bill failed on a 21-17 vote.

Senators also rejected two bills by New Orleans Democrat J.P. Morrell. One of the measures would require businesses who have contracts with the state to follow equal pay policies.

Another bill defeated was one that would prohibit employers from taking action against employees who talk about how much they make.