Four conservative U.S. states have proposed minimum wage hikes for their midterm ballots. Polls show strong support in each state for the pay raises, and if, as predicted, they pass, then a majority of states will have minimum wages higher than that set by Congress.
Residents in Alaska, Arkansas, Nebraska and South Dakota are voting Tuesday on measures to raise their minimum wages. Republicans control the legislatures in Alaska, Arkansas and South Dakota, and though Nebraska’s statehouse is nonpartisan, Nebraska is consistently red. South Dakota's and Nebraska’s minimum wages are $7.25 an hour, the federal requirement, while Alaska’s minimum wage is higher and Arkansas’ is lower.
Twenty-three states and Washington, D.C., already have minimum wages higher than the federal level, and Maryland and Hawaii passed laws earlier this year that will raise minimum wages above $7.25 an hour on Jan. 1.