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Ky. lawmaker pre-files bill to raise minimum wage in the commonwealth

Published: Nov. 12, 2020 at 11:14 AM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - A Kentucky state senator says it’s time to raise the commonwealth’s minimum wage.

Senator Reggie Thomas says he is pre-filing legislation to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour in increments over the next 5 years.

Currently, at $7.25 an hour, Kentucky’s minimum wage has not changed in 13 years, but Thomas says it’s time for the poorest workers in the state to get a raise.

Thomas is proposing raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, a little at a time. If passed, the first increment would be next July at $9.50 an hour.

He says it’s ridiculous to pay someone $7.25 an hour and for them to continue to live in poverty or to have to supplement their income in other ways.

Thomas says, despite a Republican supermajority in both the Senate and the House, he’s optimistic about the bill’s chances for passage.

“You know, I’m going to be positive. I think we can get some dialogue on this," Reggie Thomas, D-Lexington. "I think the Republicans in Kentucky want to see people earning a livable wage. I think they want to see people make a decent wage for what they do.”

Senator Thomas says minimum wage increases are also be looked at in other southern states, with Arkansas and Florida legislatures believing it’s time to raise the wage.

The bill would also provide an avenue to raise tip wages to $5 an hour by 2024.

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