Nebraska minimum wage increasing

George Sproul Opinion Editor

Nebraska citizens voted on an initiative to raise the state minimum wage by $6 through 2026, ending with a state minimum wage of $15, according to Ballotpedia. The overall vote in favor of this initiative was approximately 59%, while 41% of voters were against this. 

More surprising is the fact that 27 states out of 50 have voted to raise the minimum wage starting in 2023, with the current highest minimum wage in the country being the District of Columbia, with all jobs starting at $16.50, while the lowest are Georgia and Wyoming, both of which have a minimum wage of $5.15, although federal law require they pay workers at least $7.25. High school students are one of the largest demographics of fast food workers, and fast food chains quite often start at minimum wage. 

Sophomore Lenna Fowler works a minimum wage job at a popular fast food chain, and thinks highly of the initiative to raise minimum wage.

 “I’m very happy with the increase; it’s like 20 more dollars a paycheck, 10 more dollars a week,” Fowler said.

Fowler thinks the minimum wage increase will be good for the economy, detailing the potential positive impact of the increase.

“It’s more money for everyone, they’ll be able to buy stuff and more money goes around,” Fowler  said.

Junior Kaden Back works at a popular nearby fast food place, and he thinks the idea of raising the minimum wage is a very good idea, and that it will have several positive impacts on the state as a whole.

“Raising minimum wage will get people more money, and keep it going around, more money for everyone,” Bach said

Bach also believes that the increase in minimum wage will help people pay for things necessary to daily life, such as gasoline and various bills.

“Gas is obviously incredibly expensive right now, and the extra $1.50 will help folks pay or get around,” Bach said.

Melanie Knox is a manager of a local restaurant chain. She believes the change in minimum wage in Nebraska has potential positive repercussions for everyone, not just people making minimum wage.  She believes that it will benefit the whole economy.

“I think the state-wide [minimum] wage increase up to $10.50 will give people more of an opportunity to purchase products and food, basically the opposite of the great depression,” Knox said.

Knox also thinks the increase has the potential to decrease general poverty, even if it is a very slight decrease.

“People will be making more money, it is just a $1.50 more per hour, but it quickly adds up, these people, working 30 plus hours a week to provide, will notice a $50 increase per week, which would be generally a hundred a paycheck,” Knox said.