Tom Joad's Place

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Location: Fairfax, Virginia, United States

Friday, December 23, 2005

Just when you think you know Republicans

One of them goes and does something that is completely out of character. From the Falls Church News-Press:

Raising eyebrows all over Virginia, McLean Republican State Del. Vincent J. Callahan, Jr., has prepared a bill for next month’s state legislative session in Richmond to raise the state minimum wage from its current level of $5.15 per hour to $8 within three years.

“It’s going to get some people’s attention,” Del. Callahan conceded in remarks to the News-Press, “We face an uphill battle.”

But he said it is a matter of “simple justice,” adding, “It is a disgrace to be paying so little now.” He estimated that 150,000 Virginians are now working at the minimum wage of $5.15, which is the lowest amount permissible by federal law.

Callahan’s bill would raise the minimum by a dollar an hour to $6.15 in the first year, to $7.15 in the second year and to $8 after three years

The national minimum wage is a travesty at $5.15 an hour. President Bush, when he heard of a woman who worked three jobs for her family, described the situation "uniquely American". That's a bunch of crap! You should not be forced to work three jobs so your family can make it in this country. The breakdown of the modern American family begins right here.

I don't know much about Callahan but I'm glad that he is putting this bill up. The slow increase in wages will allow companies to adjust their finances to accomodate this rise.

The bill might not get very far because of opposition from both sides of the aisle. But this is a step in the right direction for people and families hanging by their fingernails to survive.

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