Milwaukee, Dane county boards to consider minimum-wage resolutions

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Wisconsin voters might see a referendum on the minimum wage.

The morning of June 26, the Milwaukee County Board will consider Supervisor Khalif Rainey’s resolution to place a minimum wage referendum on the November ballot.

If adopted, the resolution would place a referendum on the ballot for all Milwaukee County voters asking whether the state minimum wage should be raised to $10.10 per hour.

Board Chairwoman Marina Dimitrijevic and Supervisors Gerry Broderick and Willie Johnson Jr. have co-sponsored Rainey’s resolution, which passed the Judiciary, Safety, and General Services committee on a 5-1 vote.

Wisconsin’s minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, the same as the federal minimum.

On a 40 hour a week schedule, that means $15,080 per year, or $290 per week. That’s below the federal poverty line for a single parent with a child.

Twenty-two other states have higher minimum wage levels. Massachusetts passed legislation last week setting its state minimum wage to $11 per hour, while Connecticut and Maryland set $10.10 minimum wage levels in the past month. In the Midwest, Michigan and Minnesota have set higher minimum wage levels and Illinois is expected to follow.

Earlier this week, Raise Wisconsin activists submitted signatures to qualify similar referenda in the cities of Neenah and Menasha.

Previously, Eau Claire and Kenosha counties placed similar referenda on the November ballot.

On June 26 in Madison, the Dane County Board is expected to vote on a resolution to place the Raise Wisconsin referendum on that county’s fall ballot. More counties are expected to follow, according to a news release from Raise Wisconsin, which has two press conferences scheduled for June 25.