Archive for Thursday, February 22, 2007

Kansas House defeats state minimum wage increase

February 22, 2007


The Kansas House on Wednesday rejected an attempt to increase the state minimum wage, which at $2.65 per hour is the lowest in the nation.

Supporters of the increase said it was a moral issue to help low-income workers.

"This is a crime against humanity," said Rep. Geraldine Flaharty, D-Wichita. "Kansans deserve better."

The state minimum wage affects about 19,000 workers, mostly in service or agricultural jobs, who aren't covered by the federal minimum wage law, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

But opponents of the increase in the state minimum wage said it would be too costly to small businesses and cause employers to lay off workers.

Rep. Benjamin Hodge, R-Overland Park, argued against the increase, saying the state should avoid "European-style socialist bills."

An earlier motion to do away with a state minimum wage failed 56-62.

Twenty-eight states have state minimum wage rates higher than the federal minimum.

Sixteen states have set their state rate at the federal wage and five have no minimum wage - Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Tennessee.

Of states with a state minimum, only Kansas' is lower than the federal wage. Kansas hasn't increased its minimum wage since 1988.

Congress also is considering increasing the federal minimum to $7.25 per hour, which would be the first increase in 10 years.

For House Democrats, defeat of the increase cut down one of their goals for the session.

How they voted

How area legislators voted on the bill to increase the state minimum wage from $2.65 per hour to the federal minimum wage level of $5.15 per hour.Voting yes, to increase the wage:Barbara Ballard, D-LawrenceAnthony Brown, R-EudoraMarti Crow, D-LeavenworthPaul Davis, D-LawrenceTom Holland, D-Baldwin CityAnn Mah, D-TopekaCandy Ruff, D-LeavenworthTom Sloan, R-LawrenceVoting no, against the increase:Lee Tafanelli, R-OzawkieJoe Humerickhouse, R-Osage CityKenny Wilk, R-Lansing


bd 11 years, 3 months ago

You can thank NAFTA and our illegal friends from down south!

Kuku_Kansas 11 years, 3 months ago

Let's review life in 1988, so we can see what minimum wage helped by then, compared to 2007:

Popular Films

Rain Man Who Framed Roger Rabbit Big Twins Crocodile Dundee II Die Hard The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! Beetlejuice Dangerous Liaisons A Fish Called Wanda Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood

Popular Musicians

Enya Robert Palmer Erasure Kylie Minogue U2 The Beach Boys Bros Michael Jackson with " Dirty Diana " Gloria Estefan Chicago with " Look Away " George Michael with " father Figure " Guns N' Roses George Harrison

Year End Close Dow Jones Industrial Average 2168 Average Cost of new house $91,600.00
Average Monthly Rent $420.00
Average Income per year $24,450.00
Average Price for New car $10,4000.00
Movie Ticket $3.50
Gallon of Gas 91 cents
US Postage Stamp 24 cents

Well, I'm no PhD trained economist, political scientist or legislator....

...but based on those numbers, I'd say prices are about what they were in 1988.

No state minimum wage increase for you!


preebo 11 years, 3 months ago

Rep. Benjamin Hodge, R-Overland Park, argued against the increase, saying the state should avoid "European-style socialist bills."

...Wow. I thought a maximum wage limit would have been a socialist move, but I guess I was wrong.

In the words of Keith Olberman, Kansas State Rep. Ben Hodge is Today's "Worst Person in the World."

While some of the more conservative posters on this article will claim that minimum wage doesn't really apply, and that no one really earns the wage floor. They'll even say the market should dictate the wage range and not the Government. To that I would argue that it benefits the industry to pay low wages or little to no benefits, so it is up to the government to regulate businesses marginally so that fair business practices are met.

Kuku_Kansas 11 years, 3 months ago

Let's see if this all makes sense, because then maybe I'll change jobs to working as a waitress:

Avg. bill for a table of 2= $25.00 (including tax)? Avg. tables/hour served= 10 Avg. shift/day= 7 Avg. days worked in a week= 5 we go.

$25.00 x 10 tables= $250.00 for the hour $250.00 x 7 hour shift= $1750.00 plus taxes billed $1750.00 x 15% (Kansas tippers are so nice)= $262.50 $262.50 x 10 pay days on a paycheck= $2625.00

Now, you have to include Kansas minimum wage too: 7 hours x 10 working days= 70 hours worked 70 hours x $2.65 wage= $185.50

Kansas pay wage $185 + tips of $2625.00 = $2,810.50

$2,810.50 x 24 paychecks = $67,452.00?????????????

If my math and calculations are correct, before paying taxes of course.

Man, Bowhunter is right, this is a total crime against HUMANITY.

Our waitresses and laborers surviving on 1988-era minimum wage, and getting by on our tips are making more than some entry-level white collar jobs.

I stand corrected.

Stephen Roberts 11 years, 3 months ago

Preebo- Do you own a business or do you for some type of governemnt entity or KU?

Your posts make curious of your occupation.

When I started in the public accounting realm 10 years ago. I have bachelor degrees in Accounting and Management.School teachers (their starting salary) in Lawrence were making more money than me and working a lot less. After a couple years of experience and passing the CPA exam, I made more money.

Also, the teachers had better benefits too but I that may have been because I worked for a local CPA firm in Overland Park. It might have been worse if I worked for one in Lawrence.

preebo 11 years, 3 months ago


I am an attorney for a non-profit organization. I have worked in the public and private sectors, however. That doesn't mean I am for complete government intrusion. I do, however, believe in regulation as a check against operations as a practice.

It seems to me that raising the state minimum wage level is more about a moral obligation rather then a financial decision. That is just my personal philosophy.

bettie 11 years, 3 months ago

kuku_kansas, I'm guessing you've never waited tables. (I'm wondering if you've ever eaten in a restaurant.)

Do you really think servers are earning $260 a day? Maybe on a really good night at Pachamama's or Teller's. Other than that, it's not happening in Lawrence.

Avg. bill for a table of 2= $25.00 (including tax)? *Depends on where you work and during what shift. For dinner at Free State, sure. For lunch at La Familia, more like $10.

Avg. tables/hour served= 10 *Again, depends on when and where you're working. Most servers only have a section of 4-6 tables, and even during a lunch rush, all of their tables might not be sat.

Avg. shift/day= 7 *Are you implying that all of the tables in a server's section fill up seven times throughout a shift? I don't know about your eating habits but there are two-hour windows within which I usually eat lunch or dinner. You don't see a lot of packed restaurants at 3:00 or 9:00. A typicial lunch rush lasts long enough to fill a section with one round of customers, maybe two. After that, most of the servers in a restaurant will be sent home. Hardly 7 x 10 tables per day.

Avg. days worked in a week= 5

I'm going to skip the math here and go from experience to say that servers around here make anywhere from $10 at the low end to $200 at the high end per shift in tips. Even in the higher-end places where it's possible to make $200 on Friday or Saturday night, the same is not true for every other night (not to mention day) of the week.

And then you want to add their hourly wage? How about the fact that after taxes are taken out for the tips a server's declared, it's not unlikely that he or she won't receive wages at all. (I promise. Lots of $0 paychecks for 70 hours of work in my past.)

Servers receive 15-20% gratuities throughout the United States. Kansas is the only place that uses that as an excuse not to pay them. It's ridiculous.

Stephen Roberts 11 years, 3 months ago

bettie- A couple of minor points. I think Ku was doing calculations before taxes on the wages.

Also, a big issue is "tips declared." Different place report things different ways. I know people who only report charged tips or would under report their tips in an effort to keep more of their money.

Would you suggest raising the minimum wage? Would you be willing to cut out all together if the wage is increased? or would you rather have a higher wage and people still tipping 10 -20 %.

Does anyone know about the agriculture portion of this issue. the only people complaining are the wait staff but not the ag people. maybe they are too busy in thefields working?

May Soo 11 years, 3 months ago

state minimum wage from $2.65 per hour to the federal minimum wage level of $5.15 per hour.

Did I read that correctly, the minimum wage in KS is $2.65? Am I missing something?

Stephen Roberts 11 years, 3 months ago

Yes and no. The Kansas Minimum wage of 2.65 an hour is only for two classess that do fall into the federal law.

Kuku_Kansas 11 years, 3 months ago


My sarcasm must not have sensed well enough in my post.

I was responding to Bowhunter's assertion that waiters/waitresses do just fine and do not need a minimum salary increase because their tips of 15-20% allow them to survive.

I pulled some numbers outta my rear for one would "assume" about the restaurant scene. Basically, I assumed the maximum numbers for the sake-of-arguing.

Hope that makes more sense, just had to read the posts above mine.

Roadkill_Rob 11 years, 3 months ago

"The state minimum wage affects about 19,000 workers, mostly in service or agricultural jobs,"

I can understand the $2.65 for waiters b/c of the tip factor, but what agricultural jobs does this cover? Anyone?

drake 11 years, 3 months ago

Anyone who is worth a damn would not work for minimum wage. You would not believe the degenerates that I fire everyday that cannot seem to make it to work on time and sober for $8-$10+ per hour. The minimum wage does not affect anyone that deserves a paycheck. If they are responsible enough to show up for work everyday they will make much more than that. Lets face it, some people are just not worth more than $2.65 per hour.

KS 11 years, 3 months ago

drake - I agree. Any business that thinks they can stay in business because they can "get away" with paying only minimum wage, will not be in business for long. There is too much competition for the jobs. This is a non-issue. There are jobs out there that pay far more than minimum wage and people just can't seem to show up and be sober. If you fire them, they "bit.h" and tell you they will sue you. I repeat, this is a non-issue.

preebo 11 years, 3 months ago

If this is a non-issue as many of you have claimed then why all the aversion to a raise? If no one really is earning the minimum wage then there should be no problem. It would seem to me that setting a wage floor makes complete capitalistic sense. If the market has allowed for wages to be higher for most jobs then raising the minimum wage level up a certain percentage wouldn't hurt market value. Now, obviously, if the raise would exceed the market average then there would be a problem, but I do not expect many are advocating that.

...again if this is a non-issue then why all the hostile views towards raising it?

bd 11 years, 3 months ago

I know a woman that has a daytime job and also works evenings as a waitress at a dinner club/bar in another county south of here that gets paid $15 + tips per night. Sometimes she makes $85 per night in tips, sometimes as low as $20 a night. Who is is making the real money here??? Looks like the establishment is making out like a bandit!

mick 11 years, 3 months ago

Kansas- you have the legislature you deserve. Why do you think your phone bill is four times that of Colorado? Because they are all about business.

snowWI 11 years, 3 months ago

Kansas- has a very high out-migration of people to other states!!!!!!!!

snowWI 11 years, 3 months ago

right thinker, The family farm is a myth in most parts of Kansas. There are VERY FEW young people in rural counties in Kansas. A lot of acerage is in the CRP as well. In the real midwest their are still some family farms but many have now turned into big corporate farms with absantee landowners. Kansas should become more like North Dakota and further concentrate our population into a few large cities while leaving the semi-arid plains as the rural areas that they are.

lindseyd06 10 years, 4 months ago

I would just like to point out to anyone who noticed the estimated server's salary that the numbers used are inaccurate. Other mistakes were pointed out, but the major flaw- servers do not pocked the assumed $25.00 for the meal. That money goes to the establishment, who pays the server 2.65/hr to the server (before taxes).

For a meal costing that much, a server would be likely to get a $4 tip. (Wildly different from the assumed $25+15% tip. And as it was pointed out, a server is unlikely to get 10 tables per hour for their entire 7 hour shift.

Don't consider any carreer changes yet! :)

I have lived in KS the last few years, but I grew up in Iowa- one of the states that pays above the national average(now $7.25). One way they accomplish this is by setting a separate min wage for jobs that tip. It states that any person getting AT LEAST $30 in tips EVERY month can be payed 40% of the standard min wage.

It also states that any small business gossing less than $300,000 per year can pay their employees less than min wage.

If one state can set fair earnings laws that protect the intrests of small businesses and hard working employees, why can't Kansas?

Commenting has been disabled for this item.