ON-Lion Letter

In November, labor-policy analyst Max Nelsen of the Freedom Foundation in Olympia, Wash., debated State Rep. Chris Reykdal about whether Washington State should further raise its minimum wage.  The debate was hosted by the Conservative Club at Saint Martin's University (SMU) in Lacey, Wash., and was moderated by SMU business and economics professor Heather Grob.  More than 120 students and community members attended.  The debate, in which Nelsen argues against government intervention in the labor market, is viewable online.

Nelson was interviewed by the Freedom Foundation's Jeff Rhodes about the debate.  The interview can also be heard online.

Washington State's current minimum wage is $9.32/hour.  Earlier this month, four states passed ballot initiatives raising the minimum wage.  They are Alaska, Arkansas, Nebraska, and South Dakota.

Last November, voters in the Washington city of SeaTac, a community around Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, passed a proposition that included a hike in the minimum wage to $15/hour.  Airport employees were then excluded from the hike by a court order after Alaska Airlines and others filed suit.  Earlier this year, however, the Port of Seattle (which runs the airport) voted to increase wages for airport workers to $13/hour by 2017. 

The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee substantially supports the Freedom Foundation.

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