Attempt to raise minimum wage in Utah doesn't gain traction
“It would impact us a little bit,” he said. “But I don’t think it would be a gigantic problem.”
Nic Dunn, Utah Department of Workforce Services spokesman, said a minimum wage change wouldn’t make a big difference in the long run.
Employers would initially feel the increased costs, which could mean fewer jobs or hours for those employed, he said.
“In the short run, we may see some of that effect taking place,” Dunn said. “But in the long run, it will kind of even out.”
Lawmakers noted that state and local government would pay millions of dollars each year in higher wages under the bill.
Legislative fiscal analysts estimated it would cost state government about $3 million this year and as much as $25 million each year starting in 2015. It could cost county government $6 million to $10 million a year, they estimated.
Sen. Lyle Hillyard, R-Logan, the Senate budget chairman, said he couldn't support the bill because he doesn't know how the state would pay for it.
Utah State University graduate student Lindsey Herde has been supporting herself as a server at three restaurants the past six years. Her income comes exclusively from tips, and the $2.13 an hour pay goes directly to taxes.
“Usually they send the check, that’s zero, zero, zero,” she said. “Serving pays well with tips. That’s why you do it. But off the hourly, nothing.”
Herde said one of her biggest worries is that her income isn't reliable. Some nights she’ll make $15 in four hours, while other nights she’ll make more than $100 in that time.
“I think anything higher would make a difference,” she said. “If someone stiffs me, I pay money because I still have to tip (bussers and bartenders) out of the total bill, even if they don’t tip me."
Herde said if the minimum wage were increased to $10.25, she might consider taking a different, more stable job to support herself.
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