Burke declares support for minimum wage hike

  • Associated Press
  • February 2, 2014 - 5:20 PM

MADISON, Wis. — Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke said Sunday she would support raising Wisconsin's minimum wage up to as much as $10.10 an hour, putting her at direct odds with Gov. Scott Walker.

Burke made the comments in an interview that aired on the Wisconsin newsmagazine show "UpFront with Mike Gousha."

"I think increasing the minimum wage leads to people being able to support themselves and their families, and we can do it in a way that's not going to hurt job creation," Burke said.

The state's minimum wage is currently $7.25 an hour.

Walker, a Republican, has spoken out against legislation that would gradually raise the state's minimum wage, calling the proposals "political grandstanding." The bills are in committees in both chambers, which are controlled by Republicans.

Burke had earlier said she favored a smaller increase of about 35 cents an hour. But on Sunday she endorsed the Democrats plan to raise the minimum wage in three increments, up to $10.10 an hour in two years.

Burke said: "The research shows in states that have raised the minimum wage above the federal wage that it has absolutely no impact on unemployment rates."

"Mary Burke is the product of polling and focus groups, so we shouldn't be surprised that she again changed positions after looking at numbers and feeling pressure from her left wing base," Republican Party of Wisconsin executive director Joe Fadness said in a statement.

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