Instead of raising wages, Republican lawmakers approved a bill this year to lower wages for 65,000 Iowans.
After waiting for Iowa lawmakers to act for nearly a decade, four Iowa counties recently increased the minimum wage in their own communities to finally give a boost to the lowest wage earners. The bill, House File 295, takes away those local minimum wage increases. The bill also preempts local ordinances to place restrictions on some products sold.
Now set at $7.25 per hour, Iowa’s minimum wage was last increased in 2008 and every state surrounding Iowa (except Wisconsin) has increased their minimum wage above $7.25. To meet basic living expenses, a single person in Iowa resident should make at least $13.16 an hour and that rises to $21.52 an hour for a single parent with one child. One of the counties that took action to increase the minimum wage is Wapello County, which has the 3rd highest poverty rate in Iowa and 2nd lowest per-capita income.