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Wednesday, July 17, 2019

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Gov: Legislative agenda aimed at lifting Louisiana families out of poverty

Gov: Legislative agenda aimed at lifting Louisiana families out of poverty

Gov. John Bel Edwards announced that legislation included in his 2018 regular legislative session agenda aimed at lifting Louisiana families out of poverty.

“There is no reason why, in a state as blessed as this one, that so many families who do everything right should struggle to make ends meet each month,” said Gov. Edwards. “The cost of living continues to go up and working families are looking to us for help. That’s why I am pushing for legislation that calls on the departments in my administration to develop a coordinated, multi-agency strategic plan to lift Louisiana families out of poverty so that they can get ahead and stay ahead.”

Louisiana has one of the highest rates of poverty in the nation at 20.2% according to recent data published by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Senate Bill 455 by Sen. Regina Barrow (D-Baton Rouge) provides for the Moving Families from Poverty to Empowerment Strategic Plan as a coordinated effort among state departments to address the needs of the state's economically disadvantaged families through state or federal anti-poverty, economic development stimulus, or other programs to implement the strategic plan.

"There hasn't been an increase to the minimum wage since 2009 but the cost of goods has increased by nearly 35 percent, which impacts families, communities and employers," said Gov. Edwards. "It's essential we work together to raise the minimum wage to strengthen families, grow our economy and build a stronger workforce. Too many Louisianans are depending on us to do this. It is time."

The state’s minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. Louisiana is one of only five states that has not adopted a state minimum wage.

Senate Bill 162 by Sen. Troy Carter (D-New Orleans) provides for a modest, but meaningful increase to the minimum wage. A state minimum wage will be established at $8.00 per hour beginning Jan. 1, 2019 and $8.50 per hour beginning on Jan. 1, 2020.