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SD Republicans Open Attack on Minimum Wage Increase with HB 1094

Voters, the Republican campaign to overturn your will on the minimum wage has begin. Today, Representative Jim Bolin (R-16/Canton) filed House Bill 1094, which would repeal one small provision of the minimum-wage increase that you wrote into law by passing Initiated Measure 18 less than three months ago. HB 1094 removes the sentence, "In no case shall the minimum wage be decreased," from SDCL 60-11.3.2, the annual inflation adjustment included in Initiated Measure 18.

Republicans are trying to gain a foothold on a pretty big hill. They know they can't come storming out and advocate repealing the whole thing. They know they'd get strung up at the next crackerbarrel by attentive voters. Rep. Bolin and his conservative pals Reps. Brunner, May, Novstrup, and Stalzer and Senator Lederman are tackling what may be the most easily opposable portion of the plan. "Well, if we're going to adjust for inflation," they'll say, "isn't it only fair that the adjustment follow that rate regardless of whether it's positive or negative?"

Prepare for that argument, and prepare to reject it. The ratchet clause (allowing adjustment up but not down) is far from unfair. It helps us catch up with how much purchasing power the minimum wage has lost over decades of neglect and exploitation. We still have a long way to go before our minimum wage catches up with the family poverty level. I don't think it's unreasonable to leave in place a mechanism that ensures our lowest-paid workers don't lose ground.

But watch out: when the Republicans get tired of losing that argument, they'll angle for other amendments. A friendly observer of all things Legislative warns that Republicans may slide the current version of HB 1094 through the House, then amend it in the Senate. Then they'll send HB 1094 to conference committee, where they'll break out the big knives, safe from the opportunity from public testimony at regular committee hearings and crackerbarrel hell-raising.

Watch House Bill 1094, folks. Watch its House committee assignment (not posted yet), and be ready to vibrate those committee members' phones right out of their pockets. Tell your legislators, very simply, to leave the minimum wage alone this year and let the voters' will stand.

Related Reading: Pat Powers mewls that the Democratic minimum-wage increase (yes, do keep reminding people that we Dems brought that initiative forward; we will happily take the credit!) is hurting students by forcing the SDSU Student Union to cut its hours.

Yup. The SDSU Student Union is covering $30,000 in wage increases by closing the Union two hours earlier, at 10 p.m. instead of midnight. By closing "early," the Union will save $6,000 on utilities. The only "service" students are using is the ability to sit in that building with pretty much no one around: nothing was open from 10 to midnight but the building itself—no food service, nothing else. Union manager Jenn Novotny says there are usually only a "handful" of students hanging around the Union past ten. The "early" close is temporary, for just this semester; Union management will see how budgeting goes for FY2016 and decide whether demand justifies restoring those late hours.

So for the price of a couple dark hours in a mostly empty Union, we get $30,000 in wage increases. Sounds like a fair trade to me.


  1. Tim 2015.01.26

    Yep, we have had this discussion, we all knew this was coming. They know better than the people, and are not afraid to correct a mistake made towards their business buddies. The advantages of single party rule, they do what they want no matter how ballot votes go.

  2. Owen 2015.01.26

    You constantly hear from these Republicans about the will of the people.
    Well the will of the people voted for this law.

  3. Tim 2015.01.26

    Owen, the only people's will they give a damn about are the donors, they could care less about the rest of us. Why should they? They keep getting re-elected no matter what they say or do.

  4. Jaka 2015.01.26

    Let's "hammer on 'em" folks! Yea, we knew that these "representatives" of the (rich right) would do this! HB 1094
    needs to be hung 'stinking' around their their necks.

  5. Lynn 2015.01.26

    Well hopefully the roads will be in good enough shape so those poor souls in minimum or low wage jobs some of which with no medical coverage can escape this state for greener cleaner pasture.

  6. Roger Cornelius 2015.01.26

    Well, here we go, as Tim said, we knew this was coming.
    And it came in such timely manner, today Koch paid spokesman John Boehner mad it clear that he would oppose President Obama's minimum wage plan.
    That Koch brothers are starting to reap their rewards.

  7. Tim 2015.01.26

    RC, they are the best politicians money can buy.

  8. Roger Cornelius 2015.01.26

    Indeed they are Tim and the Republicans are their indentured slaves.

  9. grudznick 2015.01.26

    Where will those students go when they are thrust out of the safe haven of a college building? Let me tell you, they will go downtown to the Ram Pub or the Corner owned by Ray and they will drink alcohol and hang around with ill reputes and despicable sorts.

  10. larry kurtz 2015.01.26

    Wherever they go in Brookings there will be a secure social structure anchored by a vigorous democracy in stark contrast to PP's world view.

  11. Tim 2015.01.26

    What's wrong Grudz, jealous?

  12. larry kurtz 2015.01.26

    Tim: grud believes a Nicks hamburger is porn.

  13. Lanny V Stricherz 2015.01.26

    "ill reputes and despicable sorts."

    I wasn't aware that you live in Brookings Grudz.

  14. Lanny V Stricherz 2015.01.26

    "ill reputes and despicable sorts."

    I wasn't aware that you live in Brookings, Grudz.

  15. grudznick 2015.01.26

    Nicks? Oh, Lar, you got my blood flowing, ifyouknowwhatImeanandIthinkyoudo.

  16. Mike B 2015.01.26

    If a facility is not being used by enough students after 10 pm then those hours should have been cut long ago. People seem to forget that everything is not a free lunch. This is the money we give the state and they have to use it wisely. The goal should be to be good stewards and not to spend every dime allocated unless necessary.

  17. CLCJM 2015.01.26

    Well, we knew they couldn't let it stand. I'm saving this for future reference!

  18. Roger Cornelius 2015.01.26

    Very good find Deb. Over the weekend the White House bumped FOX "News" saying they are not a news organization.

  19. Lanny V Stricherz 2015.01.27

    Fox isn't always bad.Last week, I posted on Facebook that John Boehner may have committed treason by inviting Netanyahu to speak to the Congress, regarding the President's negotiations with Iran visa vie nuclear power. Here is a quote from an article about Fox News outrage over Boehner's invitation to the Israeli leader, as well as a link to the article.
    "And quite frankly, Republicans are guilty of breaking multiple US laws by inviting a foreign leader to speak to Congress to undermine their own president.
    First, we could be talking about treason, but that won’t be as easy to prosecute. However, a law passed in 1799 known as the Logan Act made it illegal for any unauthorized American citizen to negotiate with foreign leaders. That power belongs with the executive branch. That law is still in effect today, which means Boehner and the Republicans are breaking a law established by our own Founding Fathers. Boehner’s treachery also comes three weeks after Republican Senator Lindsey Graham pledged allegiance to Netanyahu during a trip to Israel."…/fox-news-actually-expresses…/

  20. Jim 2015.01.27

    Larry, Mr. Grudz finds all gravyless meat, naked and offensive.

  21. larry kurtz 2015.01.27

    Jim, that Cory has chosen to hide grud's identity is not only suspicious it's downright hypocritical.

  22. Lynn 2015.01.27

    Larry what difference does it make? Many here do not give use their legal names for various reasons some of which are for safety. Remember you were threatening to out me. Threats are counterproductive.

  23. Bill Fleming 2015.01.27

    LOL, if grudz is hiding his identity for safety, it's because of his own self-fulfilling prophesy. There are several people who would like to have a word or two with him for stiffing them on breakfast dates he made and then didn't even show up, let alone pay for the meals as he promised.

    he accuses others (like me) of having breakfast with him all the time, and since I've grown tired of denying it, people sometimes think it's true and don't believe me when I tell them I have no idea who the guy is.

    In short, because we put up with his con jobs here, he has turned a whole bunch of us into bare faced liars. Okay, maybe that's a little harsh. How about unwilling co-conspirators? ;-)

  24. mike from iowa 2015.01.27

    Fake Noize where the noize is far right and biased. Not a news organization you say? Blasphemy I tell ya!

  25. mike from iowa 2015.01.27

    Lynn,I've outed myself a few times and no one pays attention. Bill F- I have incorporated Kuturnutzov as Joni Ernst's maiden name,thanks to you. Now if I get sued.... well... you can guess the rest.

  26. Lynn 2015.01.27


    I dealt with some psycho stalker murder suicide type of person years ago. Long story short that person has a felony as a result of it and is living on the west coast. Those were scary days for not only me but my family and friends here in South Dakota.

  27. Roger Cornelius 2015.01.27

    Ah! That reminds me, grudz owes me a month of free breakfasts from the campaign season.
    He said he would buy me breakfast for a month if I made a $2 contribution to 30 Democratic campaign causes.
    I did, he didn't!

  28. Bill Fleming 2015.01.27

    Yup, grudz is funny, and his author is a truly gifted writer, but the character "grudznick" is not to be trusted. His saving grace is — as with Jessica Rabbit — he's not really bad, he's just drawn that way. LOL.

  29. Donald Pay 2015.01.27

    Cory says, "Tell your legislators, very simply, to leave the minimum wage alone this year and let the voters' will stand."

    Constant Commoner asks and answers, "When Does 'The Will Of The People' Become 'The Tyranny Of The Majority?' When It Suits Your Political Bias, I Guess"

    No law is perfect, as the writers of the initiative and referendum amendment understood. They never wrote into the amendment anything about the Legislature not amending enacted initiatives. In fact, SD voters have defeated such efforts in the past.

    Still, folks don't like it much when politicians undo the laws they voted for. There better be a good reason to do so, and I don't see one. Even the depths of the last recession, the cost of living went up, not down. Sure, if we go into a major deflationary period, that part of the initiative will likely be looked at. But if that happened, you might want the stimulatory effect of a higher minimum wage. Until then, there is no reason to consider a change.

  30. happy camper 2015.01.27

    McDonalds wants to further automate with kiosks. You can't dictate market forces.

  31. Lanny V Stricherz 2015.01.27

    I'm 73 and to the best of my knowledge the cost of living has never gone down for a full year in my lifetime. And Happy Camper, I can quit eating at McDonalds just like I did at Burger King when they moved their offices out of the country to avoid paying corporate taxes here. I know of no one who has ever complained about the prices at McDonalds and if they had to add a nickel on to each item they sell, I doubt that anyone would complain then either. That nickel would more than pay for any increase in wages that they had to pay.

  32. happy camper 2015.01.27

    McDonalds is having many problems, one being people don't want to pay $7 for a burger combo of poor quality food.

    The 1% in SD make 404k a year or more which is quite high compared to many states. Are some people making a huge income here pulling that up? Doesn't seem like the bottom could be pushing it up.

  33. grudznick 2015.01.27

    Mr. C! I do recall some sort of wager but I thought it was for a month's worth of Sunday Breakfasts, sir. And I don't recall what you had to do to earn it, but if you have I take your word for it my friend. What address can I send the funds to, or better yet what is your favorite Rapid City greasy spoon and I shall leave you a fine certificate for breakfasts on ol' grudznick.

  34. Roger Cornelius 2015.01.27

    All is forgiven grudz, you don't have to bother.

  35. Bill Fleming 2015.01.27

    Good for you grudz! (...psst, Roger, just a word of caution, brother. Before you show up some Sunday for your first meal, be sure to give them a call first. LOL.)

    Hey grudz, is your favorite Chinese restaurant "Chow Dow Now's? If so, do you know that you can't eat leftover egg fu yung? Because if it's not fresh, it's egg fu old. (ba-dum-tshhhh).

  36. grudznick 2015.01.27

    Bill, you're a funny guy but like I said at breakfast last week, you can't tarnish my reputation. I don't often eat out at night, but I will have to dive into this Chinese fu spot. Is it on East North?

  37. grudznick 2015.01.27

    Mr. C, I would like to leave you a gift certificate. Do you like Talley's Silver Spoon?

  38. Bill Fleming 2015.01.27

    Yes, ask anybody anywhere in town, grudz. Just tell them you want 'Chow Dow Now'. Say it quickly, like you mean it.

  39. Jim 2015.01.27

    The Mr. Grudz, where do like to take your dinners? If these places offer the food certificates, perhaps I could pay it forward?

  40. grudznick 2015.01.27

    Mr. Jim, I am not accustomed to eating dinners out. I usually have a tray while I watch that young Julie lady on KEVN. I have heard there are dinner places that serve breakfast all day and all night. Now wouldn't that be a sight to see?

  41. Moses 2015.01.27

    Bolin from union county what do you expect.

  42. Deb Geelsdottir 2015.01.28

    Thanks Lynn. I wasn't aware of O'Lielly's latest lies. Hey, my basketball team was undefeated! And I was the starting center and high scorer of every game!

    Okay, it was my 8th grade team at St. Lawrence Grade School. (Which no longer exists.) We played 8 games, wore skirts, and had to stay on one half of the court.

    (Doesn't that make me a Bigger Star than O'Lielly?)

  43. Richard Schriever 2015.01.30

    When Senator Ernie Otten took my place, working on the farm for my uncle in the early 1970's, as I went off to college, the pay he received then - with NO experience and NO skils - would = almost $12/hr. in today's dollars. Maybe someone ought to remind him just exactly how HE got a "leg up" in this old world.

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