by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Out-of-state interests from the labor community are the main drivers behind several state ballot initiatives to pass steep minimum wage hikes, according to a new analysis.
Voters in Arkansas and Missouri are considering ballot initiatives that would raise their hourly minimum wages. Proposition B in Missouri would guarantee a $12 wage by 2022, a 53 percent increase from the current $7.85 rate, while Issue 5 in Arkansas would cement an $11 wage by 2021, a 29 percent jump from the current $8.50 rate.
Those two initiatives have benefitted from substantial spending from Raise Up Missouri and Arkansas for a Fair Wage. Both of those groups receive nearly all of their donations from labor groups outside of the state. Raise Up receives 88 percent of its funds from out-of-state resources, while the Arkansas group collects 99 percent of its contributions outside of the state, according to an analysis from the labor watchdog Employment Policies Institute.
“Voters heading to the polls next Tuesday should be skeptical about the self-interested labor unions and special interest groups funding ‘Raise up Missouri’ and ‘Arkansas for a Fair Wage,'” EPI spokesman Samantha Summers said in an email. “These out-of-state groups care more about pushing their own agenda than actually helping working families.”