Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards released the following statement on the Senate Labor and Industrial Relations Committee vote to advance SB 153 by Sen. Troy Carter (D-District 7), a bill that would make a modest, but meaningful increase to the state minimum wage:

“Nearly half of working families in Louisiana struggle to cover basic monthly expenses, so I am pleased to see that the Senate Labor and Industrial Relations Committee advanced an opportunity to establish a modest, but meaningful increase to the minimum wage in our state today,” said Gov. Edwards. “SB 153 is a reasonable measure to remedy the fact that it has been nearly a decade since the last minimum wage increase in Louisiana, despite the rising cost of living over that time. If we say that family values are critical to our way of life here in Louisiana, it’s time to start valuing the hard-working families who contribute a great deal to our communities.”

Louisiana is one of only five states that have not adopted a state minimum wage. Forty percent of Louisiana working families do not earn enough to cover basic monthly expenses. Gov. Edwards committed to addressing this issue during his run for governor and he plans to work with legislators on both sides of the aisle to follow through on that commitment.

The 2016 Louisiana Survey found that 76 percent of Louisiana residents support raising the minimum wage to $8.50 an hour. Senate Bill 153 authored by Sen. Carter would provide for a modest, but meaningful increase to the minimum wage – up to $8.50 over a two year period.