kentucky minimum wage

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Retailers across Kentucky are assessing the State Supreme Court’s ruling on local efforts to set a minimum wage. That includes many in the restaurant business.

  The Kentucky Supreme Court has struck down Louisville’s minimum wage ordinance in a 6-1 decision, saying that the city doesn’t have the authority to set a minimum wage above the level set by the state.

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"Should We Raise the Minimum Wage?" is the title of a debate at Murray State University on October 4 at 6 p.m. in the Curris Center small ballroom. The event is sponsored by the conservative nonprofit organization Institute for Humane Studies. University of Kentucky economics professor John Garen will speak against raising the minimum wage. Georgia State University economics professor Bruce Kaufman will speak in favor of raising the minimum wage. Matt Markgraf speaks with Murray State University Professor of Economics Martin Milkman about this contentious issue and what minimum wage looks like in Kentucky.

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The Kentucky Supreme Court is scheduled to hear a lawsuit on Friday over whether Louisville can increase the minimum wage employers pay their workers.

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  Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin issued five high-profile executive orders on Tuesday on issues ranging from same-sex marriage licenses to voting rights for ex-felons.

“Today, I took action to uphold several commitments I made during my campaign so that we can implement real solutions that will help the people of Kentucky,” Bevin said in a press release.

composite: Conway (Gage Skidmore / Flickr (Creative Commons License); Bevin: Alix Mattingly

  Gov. Steve Beshear this week issued an executive order to increase the minimum wage for about 800 state workers—but his term ends this year.

Whether to keep the wage hike beyond 2015 will be decided by his successor.

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Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear is raising the minimum wage for state employees and challenges public and private employers to follow the lead. 

Beshear signed the executive order today to institute a wage raise for employees working for the state executive branch to $10.10 per hour up from the current $7.25 per hour. 


Retail giant Walmart is giving pay raises to its 12,088 employees in Kentucky. The move is part of a company-wide increase in wages that will see all Walmart employees earning $10 an hour by next February.

The Kentucky General Assembly passed several important pieces of legislation in the just-concluded 2015 session, including a comprehensive heroin bill and a freeze to the state’s tumbling gas tax.

As Kentucky lawmakers consider increasing the state’s minimum wage, a WKU economics professor is warning such a move could have negative consequences. 

Dr. Brian Strow says a minimum wage hike would harm the people it’s meant to help. 

"More than half of minimum workers are 24 and younger," Strow tells WKU Public Radio.  "There's only about 15 percent of workers that are the major bread winner for their family."

The report, commissioned by the Bluegrass Institute, also notes that past minimum wage increase have resulted in higher unemployment in Kentucky relative to the rest of the country.  

"We are particularly hurt by increasing the minimum wage relative to the number of people working in Kentucky because a larger percentage of our population is actually working at minimum wage than in other states," he adds.

The Democratic-led Kentucky House earlier this month passed a bill that would gradually raise the state’s minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour.  The measure faces dim prospects in the Republican-controlled Senate. 

The last time state lawmakers approved a minimum wage increase was in 2007.  Supporters say the last increase has been eroded by inflation in the cost of living.