Sen. Reginald Thomas pre-files bill to increase minimum wage in Kentucky to $15 by 2025

Senator Reginald Thomas, D-Lexington, today pre-filed a bill to raise the minimum wage for workers in Kentucky. The bill calls for staggered increases over the next seven years, bringing the minimum wage up to $15 an hour in 2025. “This issue, in my opinion, should be a top economic priority of the General Assembly,” said Senator Thomas. “This one piece of legislation could do a great deal to...

Rural Blog: Minimum wage isn’t enough to cover two-bedroom apartment anywhere in U.S., report says

On average, how much income does someone in your state need to rent a two-bedroom apartment? The National Low Income Housing Coalition has run the numbers, and The Washington Post has a story and a map: According to the report, “There is nowhere in this country where someone working a full-time minimum wage job could afford to rent a two-bedroom apartment,” Tracy Jan writes for the Post....

Commentary: Cutting wages would not help Kentucky create a more prosperous economy

By Jason Bailey Special to KyForward Legislative leaders say the 2017 Kentucky General Assembly will focus on jobs and the economy. That priority is welcome given challenges across the state. But the policy issues reportedly topping the to-do list — making Kentucky a right-to-work state and repealing the prevailing wage law — would not help, but would actually hinder the goal of creating a more...

Commentary: Action on minimum wage should be at top of next General Assembly’s agenda

By Jason Bailey Special to KyForward Recently, the Kentucky Supreme Court pulled the rug out from under tens of thousands of low wage workers in Lexington and Louisville by ruling localities don’t have the authority to raise the minimum wage. The court’s decision was a blow to local leadership that had stepped up to boost sagging wages. In 2014 Louisville established a minimum wage that would rise...

Bills to provide boost to minimum wage, college tuition assistance approved by House committee

House Speaker Greg Stumbo’s proposals to make college more affordable and raising the state’s minimum wage easily cleared the House Appropriations and Revenue Committee Tuesday with bipartisan support. “Taken together, these bills would do more to move Kentucky ahead than any others we consider outside of the budget,” said Stumbo of Prestonsburg. “It’s time we ease the costs families...

State’s human trafficking cases would come under attorney general’s office under proposal

Kentucky’s Attorney General would be given jurisdiction over the state’s human trafficking cases under a bill approved Wednesday by the House Judiciary Committee. Jurisdiction over these cases now lies with Kentucky’s Commonwealth’s Attorneys and county attorneys. House Bill 229 would expand that jurisdiction to the Attorney General’s Office to beef up investigation and prosecution of such...

Issues Poll shows most Kentuckians in favor of increasing minimum wage to $10.10 an hour

According to information released by Interact for Health and the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, nearly 7 in 10 Kentucky adults (68 percent) favor increasing the minimum wage for all workers to $10.10 per hour. Results are from the 2015 Kentucky Health Issues Poll (KHIP). The current minimum wage in Kentucky for most workers is $7.25 per hour. This is about $15,000 per year for a full-time employee....

Rep. Mike Denham: Sales tax, wage, drug and protection bills passed along to Senate

Like most of the state, the Kentucky House of Representatives saw its schedule put on ice last week because of the snow and plunging temperatures.   While the damage and outages did not cause the same level of devastation that Kentucky experienced in 2009, there has been one constant between now and then: The tireless work of our road crews, first responders, hospital and utility workers and those...

Big Ass Fans employees share in financial success, paid 30 percent above U.S. median

Big Ass Fans employee Carey Smith, pictured with a production associate, works at the Lexington manufacturing facility. (Photo by Jason Hernandez for CNN Money)   By Anne Fisher CNN Money   Carey Smith grew up familiar with a hard day’s work. He started selling Christmas cards door to door at age nine and moved on to setting newspaper type, cleaning hospital bedpans and washing shirts.   “I...

Gena Bigler: Minimum wage debates should focus on reality and not mythical “intent”

There is a lot of talk about minimum wage lately. McDonald’s shared a sample budget for their workers that raised eyebrows and questions about the working poor and minimum wage. Many people think it should be raised to a “living wage” and others think it’s just fine and should be set by the market. One of the most debated arguments is whether a person should be able to live on full-time...

Gena Bigler: New bill before Congress would end overtime pay and 40-hour work week

Overworked, and without recourse. Most Americans work longer hours than ever before and are seldom “off the clock.” Congress recently voted to essentially end our 40-hour work week and overtime pay. “The Working Families Flexibility Act H.R. 1406,” is not yet law, and is in a Senate committee, but we are precariously close to losing rights that have protected the American worker since...