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The 2020 Census, delayed because of the new coronavirus, is ramping back up to provide an accurate count so, among other things, states can redraw districts for 2021 and 2022. Plus, national figures across the country decry President Trump's response to protests.

State Minimum Wage Increase Today!

July 24, 2009

Huron, SD - The wait is over for minimum wage workers in South Dakota who will be getting a bump in pay when the minimum wage increases today. The new pay scale, approved by the South Dakota legislature and signed into law by Governor Mike rounds, was a three-step process phased in over a three-year period.

Paul Aylward, executive director of the South Dakota American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 59, says the latest increase to $7.25 per hour will help many low-wage workers in South Dakota.

"Seventy cents an hour would amount to almost 1,500 dollars a year for a full-time worker. That would bring them up to about 15,000 dollars a year. That's a big raise for someone who's in that low-wage category."

Opponents of the higher minimum wage worry it will increase labor costs and prices for goods for businesses. Aylward disagrees, saying it will help the economy by improving worker purchasing power.

"The minimum wage actually helps the economy, because it puts more money into the market place. People spend that money as it turns over, some economists say, at least seven times. When people spend the money, it puts money on main street and everybody is a winner."

The effort to raise the minimum wage to $7.25 per hour took many years to accomplish, yet advocates say it is still not a livable wage.

David Law, Public News Service - SD