The national minimum wage was put into effect during the great depression in the 1930’s. It’s implementation was designed to combat the exploitation of workers in sweatshops and factories. President Roosevelt signed the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) in 1938 creating the mandatory federal minimum wage. The original rate was set at 25 cents an hour to guarantee a “minimum standard of living necessary for health, efficiency and general well-being, without substantially curtailing employment”. Since that time the wage has been adjusted periodically by Congress to meet the rise and fall of the “cost of living”. The increasing wage gap between rich Americans and poor Americans throughout the past couple of decades has made the minimum wage issue a hotly debated topic as parties on all sides strive to present ideas that will ensure the American Dream is an attainable journey for all generations.
In 1997, legislature was introduced by President Clinton allowing the States to set their own minimum wage. Employers are required to pay the highest rate between the federal and state minimums. Today’s national rate is $7.25/hr and is the prevailing rate in 29 states. The rest have rates exceeding that amount. The question at hand now is will the courts allow local government to take the lead on setting increased minimum wage rates? Louisville has already put a local ordinance on the books and it is set to take effect July 1. Should Lexington follow suit? Mayor Jim Gray has gone on record as being in favor of a local rate increase. The city council has voted unanimously to assign the discussion to the Budget, Finance and Economic Development Committee.
Join us for a discussion about the local minimum wage ordinance as it has been proposed. Speaking will be: Councilwoman Jennifer Mossotti and Professor Kenneth R. Troske. Their bios can be seen below.
Thursday, June 4, 2015
Hilary J. Boone Center – UK’s Campus
7:15 Coffee and Networking
7:30 Breakfast and Program
Free to Members / Guest Fee $20
Please RSVP by noon on Tuesday June 2, 2015
Kenneth R. Troske is the William B. Sturgill Professor of Economics and the Director of the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Kentucky. He is an expert in labor economics. His work has been published in numerous academic journals such as the American Economic Review, Quarterly Journal of Economics, Journal of Labor Economics, The Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, and The Review of Economics and Statistics. He also co-edited (along with John Haltiwanger, Julia Lane, James Spletzer, and Jules Theeuwes) the book The Creation and Analysis of Employer-Employee Matched Data, published by Elsevier Science. Kenneth Troske is the recipient of many fellowships and grants supporting his research on the labor market experiences of low-skill workers and workers moving from welfare to work.Troske received his B.A. from the University of Washington in 1984 and his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1992
Jennifer Mossotti was re-elected to once again serve the 9th District in Lexington in 2014. Jennifer is a high energy community leader, a tireless public servant and a relentless advocate for good public policy. For the past 15 years, she has been a professional real estate agent; both residential and commercial. She has a well-earned reputation for being a strong voice for her constituents and has been awarded the Fayette County