Election 2022: Nebraska voters raise the minimum wage
Nebraska’s $9 an hour minimum wage will be increased by a dollar and a half a year until it reaches $15 an hour in 2026.
OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - The argument over the minimum wage in Nebraska is over.
Some argue a minimum wage increase from $9 to eventually $15 an hour will hurt small businesses and cost low-wage earners their jobs, others argue the wage increase will help pull people out of poverty.
Miranda Cook has worked in the Old Market Candy Shop since she was in high school, the UNO sophomore has plans to go to medical school.
“Because I make more money I can help my family out more and also I can save up more especially for medical school because that’s what I’m really worried about is saving up money for that,” Cook said.
Miranda will pick up a full-time job in her field but she loves working at the candy shop.
“But at the same time, I want to be here as long as I can or maybe pick up one shift here,” Cook said.
Jeff Jorgensen owns the Old Market Candy Shop and a couple of other small businesses in the market. He has about 14 employees mostly high school students, all part-time.
He’s all for paying an increased wage.
“People really do need to have money in order to spend money and as a business owner it’s better for us if more people have spendable income and they’re not spending everything just to survive,” Jorgensen said.
Jeff already pays his part-timers more than the current $9 an hour minimum.
“We’re considerably over what the first couple of year’s increases are after that we’ll be needing to increase wages here,” Jorgensen said.
There are many people in Nebraska who don’t believe they will be affected by the state’s new minimum wage, but some of the money we pay in taxes will go towards covering the cost of the increase.
If you voted in person yesterday you were greeted and helped through the process by poll workers. There were around 1,400 poll workers working the polls for the midterm election. All working for minimum wage. You can double the amount of workers needed to pull off a presidential election.
“You know in a presidential year it takes about 3,000 election workers in that general election to make that happen so you know 3,000 election workers times an hourly increase you know there’s obviously gonna be a financial impact to it,” Douglas County Election Commissioner Brian Kruse said.
Nebraska’s $9 an hour minimum wage will be increased by a dollar and a half a year until it reaches $15 an hour in 2026. After that annual adjustments will be made to cover inflation.
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