LITTLE ROCK (KATV) - U.S. Senator Mark Pryor became the first elected officialin Arkansas to officially endorse the 2014 ballot initiative raising thestate's minimum wage from $6.25 to $8.50 an hour.
Pryor has said for months hesupports the proposal, and now that the Attorney General has approved the ballotlanguage, Pryor's strong endorsement on behalf of hardworking Arkansans is commanding attention.
It should be noted that Congressman Cotton refused toendorse the Arkansas ballot initiative when asked by several news outlets in late February. Cotton has never supported raising the minimum wage. Pryorhas previously supported an increase of both the federal and state levels.
Pryor has been quoted saying the following below:
U.S. Mark Pryor is formally endorsing a proposal to raisethe minimum wage in Arkansas.Pryor said Saturday in Little Rock that the proposal is the right thing to do.It would raise the state's current $6.25 per hour minimum wage to $7.50 perhour on Jan. 1, 2015; to $8 per hour on Jan. 1, 2016, and to $8.50 per hour onJan. 1, 2017.
"It's just not acceptable that our state is one of fourwith a minimum wage set well below the federal level, even as tens of thousandsof Arkansas families struggle to get by. Let's come together and raiseArkansas' minimum wage. It's the right thing to do and the right time to doit."According to information provided by Arkansas Advocates for Children andFamilies, 168,074 Arkansas workers - roughly 15% of the state's workforce -would benefit from raising the state minimum wage.The average salary for an Arkansas worker under the current state minimum wageis $12,750 annually. If the wage were eventually raised to $8.50 per hour, afull-time employee would earn $17,680 annually.
US Senator Mark Pryor participated in a Saturday event backingthe "Give Arkansas A
Raise Now" campaign.
The Give Arkansas A Raise Now (GARN) petition drivekicked off Saturday morning, and one of the first to add his signature was Sen.Mark Pryor (D-Ark.)."America was built on a promise," Pryor reminded a small gathering ofGARN supporters at the Bullock Temple CME Church in south Little Rock."And it's the promise that if you work hard, you have a chance to earn adecent living, to improve your station in life, to provide for your family, tocreate opportunity. And we need to fulfill that promise."