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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

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After the Trump assassination attempt, defining democracy gets even harder; Trump picks Sen. JD Vance of Ohio, a once-fierce critic turned loyal ally, as his GOP running mate; DC residents push back on natural gas infrastructure buildup; and a new law allows youth on Medi-Cal to consent to mental health treatment.

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Donald Trump is formally put up for GOP nomination and picks Ohio Senator J.D. Vance as his running mate. Former presidential hopeful Vivek Ramaswamy and swing state delegates consider ticket.

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Enticing remote workers to move is a new business strategy in rural America, Eastern Kentucky preservationists want to save the 20th century home of a trailblazing coal miner, and a rule change could help small meat and poultry growers and consumers.

Small Businesses Back Minimum-Wage Initiative on Ballot

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Monday, October 24, 2022   

Nearly 300 Nebraska business owners and executives across the state have gone on record in support of ballot Initiative 433, which would gradually raise Nebraska's minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2026.

Dave Titterington, owner of the Wild Bird Habitat Stores in Lincoln and Omaha, said it is tough enough to find employees in the current marketplace, and even harder if all you can offer is $9 an hour.

"When you got child care, you got food to put on the table, you got increased fuel costs for home heating and automobile, how can anybody make it on the minimum wage?" Titterington asked.

Critics of Initiative 433 claim the minimum wage was never meant to be a "living wage" but an "entry level" wage for young people or first-time workers. Others warn small businesses operating on thin profit margins would pass increased labor costs along to consumers.

Steph Terry, director of operations for Morrow Collision Center in Lincoln, said workers are also customers, and raising Nebraska's minimum wage will be good for business. When workers are paid more, they can spend more at local businesses.

She added 75% of minimum-wage workers are age 20 and over, so it's not like they don't have bills to pay.

"Any individual deserves to have the ability to care for themselves and care for their families," Terry contended. "I think raising the minimum wage in Nebraska is the right thing to do, the fair thing to do, for the people of our state."

Titterington noted low pay typically means higher turnover when workers look elsewhere to make ends meet, and higher training costs for businesses. Titterington believes small businesses ought to move employees out of the expense column and into the investment column, because they are the first people customers meet when they come in the door.

"We consider our employees an investment, just like our radio advertising," Titterington explained. "If you can't pay your employees a living wage, and still run a business, maybe you need to be in another profession."


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