Minimum wage proposal gets mixed reaction

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POSTED: Thursday, February 14, 2013 - 4:50pm

UPDATED: Friday, February 15, 2013 - 10:01am

It's a prominent topic President Barack Obama discussed during his State of the Union Speech Tuesday night.

President Barack Obama's biggest proposal for working Americans is to increase minimum wage to help those living below poverty level.

Dr. Jessica Lavariega Monforti of UTPA is a political science expert and says, "In many states they have already raised the minimum wage because those who were working full time could not make a living just a basic living."

Many here in the valley face the reality of earning minimum wage, while trying to make ends meet.

Monforti says, "What we see is the impact on children, the impact on families, of course the impact on government entitlement programs like welfare."

The impacts aren't only on workers but also business owners, Lazaro Fernandez is co-owner of Dos Rios Fabric Company out of McAllen, he's okay with the president's new minimum wage increase proposal, but feels this new proposal could shed some consequences on his business.

Fernandez says, "Most of our employees already don't work the minimum wage, so you have to adjust everybody up the ladder, which is the fair and correct thing to do."

And that  means businesses would have to pay their employees more and for businesses already struggling it can makes things tough.

Fernandez also says, "So many things happening the last couple of years, it's kind of scary for small business owners, the hardest part is that our expenses the last three-four years have gone up 30%-50%."

But even if minimum wage is raised to $9.00 an hour, the income of a family of four with one worker would still be nearly $5,000 under the poverty line.

 

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