INDIANAPOLIS | State Sen. Frank Mrvan, D-Hammond, is enthusiastically backing President Barack Obama's call for a higher minimum wage.
"I applaud the emphasis the president put on raising the minimum wage during his State of the Union address," Mrvan said. "Here in Indiana, we too must focus on putting more money in the pockets of working Hoosiers."
Mrvan said Indiana's Republican-controlled Legislature and governor too often focus on cutting taxes and doling out other benefits to the state's wealthiest residents.
"It is apparent from lagging middle class incomes that we haven't done enough for working families," Mrvan said. "As many as 16 percent of Hoosiers have fallen below the poverty line and on average, Indiana households earned less in 2012 than they did in 2004."
Mrvan is sponsor of Senate Bill 315, which would raise Indiana's minimum wage from the $7.25 per hour federal minimum to $8.50 on July 1 and then to $10 per hour on July 1, 2015.
"Raising the minimum wage could positively impact nearly a quarter of the Hoosier workforce and is a strong first step toward combating sagging wages," Mrvan said.
His proposal was not heard by the Senate's Tax and Fiscal Policy Committee and will not get a committee vote by Thursday's deadline.
Mrvan said he will try to add his plan to other measures advancing through the Legislature so it has a chance of becoming law.