Minimum wage hike could impact Mississippians

Some of Mississippi’s 350 businesses with $161 million in current federal contracts will be affected by President Barack Obama’s plans to increase minimum pay per hour by 39 percent for employees paid with federal money.

But just how many state businesses currently contracting with the federal government and how many future Mississippi companies will be impacted by the imminent change isn’t known.

The president announced during the State of the Union speech Tuesday that he supports Congress increasing the national minimum wage 39 percent higher an hour than Mississippi’s minimum wage. Until that happens, he plans to use executive power not requiring Congressional approval to raise workers’ pay to that level.

“In the coming weeks, I will issue an Executive Order requiring federal contractors to pay their federally-funded employees a fair wage of at least $10.10 an hour – because if you cook our troops’ meals or wash their dishes, you shouldn’t have to live in poverty,” Obama said.

This change applies to new federal contracts from the date the president issues the executive order, so it will not impact current federal contractors or their employees.

Daily Journal
1/31/14