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Kenosha County Board to hold advisory referendum on raising state's minimum wage

KENOSHA, WI (WTAQ) - A Kenosha County Board member says there's an effort to get anti-Walker voters to the polls in November, by holding referendums in selected counties on an issue the governor's opponents favor -- raising the minimum wage.

The Kenosha board voted this week to hold an advisory referendum on raising the state's minimum from $7.25 an hour to $10.10.

Supervisor Erin Decker called it an effort to sway the governor's contest. Supervisor Mike Goebel said he proposed the referendum because he wanted the voters to decide the issue. Goebel said he didn't want state politicians to "pat themselves on the back" if they approve a smaller increase.  

WRJN Radio said the Kenosha board also voted against letting the county set its own minimum wage if the state refuses to act.

The issue has gained steam since the last legislative session ended. That was after majority Republicans ignored pleas from Democrats to pass a gradual two-year hike in the state minimum wage to $10.10.

A UW-Milwaukee poll this month showed that 76 percent of Wisconsin registered voters favor some type of increase -- and 70 percent said future hikes should be automatically tied to inflation.

The Wisconsin Restaurant Association now says a $10.10 wage could result in a loss of 16,500 jobs -- mainly because diners wouldn't pay higher prices to cover the workers' higher wages.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)