North Carolina Democrats are calling on the legislature to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2022. They plan to re-introduce legislation that stalled in the long session that would raise the minimum wage in phases over five years. Buncombe County Rep. Susan Fisher is among the Democrats taking the lead on the effort.
"The ripple effect of raising the wage floor would give a boost to hundreds of thousands of working people making just above the minimum wage. But also keep in mind that most of the low-wage workers are women, and increasing the minimum wage would help close the gender pay gap. So there's several reasons why and not the least of which is that our citizens deserve better and most of them want better."
Republicans in control of the General Assembly have been cool to the idea of raising the minimum wage. But Fisher says the point is to keep the conversation going. And she says if lawmakers won't support the effort, then voters can have their say in November.