Argument For I-151
People who work full-time for a living should not have to live in poverty.
The current minimum wage in Montana is $5.15 an hour.
(39-3-409 Montana Code Annotated)
A person working full-time at the minimum wage in Montana will earn wages of $10,712 a year.
($5.15 an hour x 40 hours a week x 52 weeks = $10,712)
An annual wage of $10,712 is 31% less than the federal poverty level for a family of three.
(Congressional Research Service Memorandum – “Historical Relationship Between the Minimum Wage and Poverty, 1959 to 2005”)
Montana’s minimum wage was last raised 10 years ago – in 1996.
(Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996, Public Law 104-188, Signed into Law 8/20/1996)
In 1996 the average price for a gallon of gas in Montana was $1.53 a gallon.
(American Petroleum Institute – “Changes in the Major Components of Gasoline Prices, 1967-2004”)
At today’s gas prices the average person spends $7,967 per year just to drive a car.
(AAA Study – “Your Driving Costs 2006”)
A year of child-care in Montana costs an average of $5,710 for care of a pre-schooler.
(National Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies – “2004-2005 Price of Child Care”)
Since 1996, 23 states have already raised the minimum wage for their workers.
(Associated Press, July 17, 2006 – “Minimum Wage Push Focusing on State Level”)
Over 50% of all Americans live in states that have passed minimum wages higher than Montana’s.
(Economic Policy Institute –“Minimum Wage Issue Guide: FAQs”)
I-151 would raise the minimum wage in Montana by $1.00 an hour to $6.15 an hour.
Give Montana workers a raise.
Vote for I-151
This Ballot Argument Submitted by:
Tim Kennedy - Small Business Owner - Mom’s Famous Soup and Salad
Jacquie Helt - President, Montana State AFL-CIO and Executive Officer, UNITE HERE ! Local 427
Steve Bullock, Director, Raise Montana
- Why did proponents choose not to focus on the most dangerous part of their proposal; the annual inflation factor called the Consumer Price Index?
- I-151 will impose big city price increases on Montana . The Consumer Price Index is calculated by taking prices from America ’s 87 largest cities. None of those cities are in Montana and none are in three of our surrounding states.
US Bureau of Statistics
- Wages in Montana will be determined by an out of state index. Do Montanans really want to be forced into spiraling labor and price hikes?
- Economic experts, including Alan Greenspan, agree that an increase in the minimum wage results in fewer job opportunities for entry level workers—particularly the least-skilled. Sadly, these are the very individuals that minimum wage increases are supposed to help.
“Product Market Evidence on the Employment Effects of the Minimum Wage,” Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, 2003
- A large percentage of Montana’s 5000 minimum wage earners are restaurant servers and are either teenagers living with their working parents, adults living alone, or a married couple -- often with a spouse earning a higher income. The reason people agree to work as a restaurant server is because they can make considerably more than minimum wage with tips. The restaurant industry also provides flexible hours and advancement opportunities.
- Read the fine print and Vote No on I-151.
The PROPONENT argument and rebuttal for this measure were prepared by Tim Kennedy - Small Business Owner - Mom’s Famous Soup and Salad; Jacquie Helt - President, Montana State AFL-CIO and Executive Officer UNITE HERE ! Local 427; and Steve Bullock, Director, Raise Montana.
The OPPONENT argument and rebuttal for this measure were prepared by Riley Johnson, Brad Griffin, Merisa Saunders, and Webb Brown.