Raising Utah’s minimum wage

Lawmakers, faith groups, and even some business owners work to raise the Utah minimum wage. From Dennis Romboy’s article in the Deseret News:

Rep. Lynn Hemingway, D-Salt Lake City, proposes to raise Utah’s minimum wage to $10.25 an hour and give restaurant servers and those who work mostly for tips a $1 increase to $3.13 an hour. Hemingway’s bill, HB73, would apply only to workers ages 17 and older.

“What we’re trying to do is help people get out of poverty,” he said. “If you work full time, you deserve better than being in poverty.”


The Coalition of Religious Communities, a multifaith group of 16 denominations in the state, expressed support in a news conference Tuesday for Hemingway’s bill and another one sponsored by Sen. Karen Mayne, D-West Valley City.

Mayne’s bill, SB102, calls for the service industry to give employees and patrons a written disclosure of how it divides tips.

The Rev. Matt Sneddon, vicar of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, favors the two bills after seeing at least one member of his West Valley City congregation unable to afford a place to live even though she makes a little more than minimum wage.

“I think right now the minimum wage isn’t really livable. What we need is something that enables people to actually do the things we consider a living, have a home, have food, have clothes,” Sneddon said.

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