Though a Senate committee approved a bill (3-2 on party lines, no need to say which is which) to limit “living wage” laws in Wisconsin– a mean-spirited bill aimed at preventing Milwaukee County from approving a new living wage ordinance–it appears that, according to Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald today, there is not enough support in the Republican-controlled Senate for mean-spiritedness to prevail on this issue.
Already passed by the Assembly, the bill that died said that the state should not have to contribute to paying living wages– every city and community for itself, is the bill’s motto. Sen. Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend), lead sponsor of the bill, reportedly said, according to the Journal Sentinel, this to the question of why can’t Milwaukee control its own fate: “Because they’re doing it with our money.” Perhaps Milwaukee and Milwaukee County are no longer considered a part of Wisconsin in the minds of some Wisconsin Republicans.
But, fortunately, enough of our (I use the word inclusively) Republicans in the Senate saw no need to banish Milwaukee, Madison, Dane County and soon Milwaukee County from state support for having the effrontery to mandate that people in their spheres of influence get paid enough to live on. Raising the minimum wage is a popular idea across the nation (including Ohio and Illinois), which may be part of the reason Republican senators let the living wages live on.
Democrats will likely campaign hard on raising the minimum wage for everyone in Wisconsin and the nation.