How would you feel if you were paid a fourth less than everyone else? If you’re a woman in WV, you likely know. Nationwide, women earn 80% of what men earn, but in WV, it’s only 74%, the fifth worst income gap in the nation, according to the National Partnership for Women and Families.
Many women, often struggling to care for children, are employed in service jobs that pay minimum wage or not much above it, so raising the minimum wage will affect more women than men and start to close the gap.
So why did a bill introduced by WV House Democrats that would have simply raised the minimum wage to $12/hr. over a period of a few years die in Republican led committees? Perhaps because donors from the business community would rather pay low wages and force their employees to make it by seeking public assistance?
Raising the minimum wage would help working women and families and lower the cost of public assistance. This should be an issue any conservative could embrace.