The Minimum Wage Increase: Making Hard Work Pay Is Good for All of Us

Minimum wage toon by Paul Fell

By Jeremy Nordquist

All Nebraskans value hard work. All Nebraskans want an economy that provides opportunity. Nebraska has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country and one of the highest rates of working parents. Yet, despite working hard, too many Nebraska families are struggling to prosper, and it is weighing down our economy and support system.

In the upcoming November election, voters will be provided the opportunity to increase state minimum wage from $7.25 per hour to $9 per hour by 2016. Why is this important? Because jobs must pay enough for workers to meet their basic needs—like paying for a doctor visit or putting gas in the car. At the current minimum wage, a full-time salary is about $15,000 per year, far below what any workers need to support themselves and their families in any community in Nebraska. As a result, the lines are becoming blurred between the middle class, the working poor, and those who are living in absolute poverty.

Nebraska’s Climate Change Report

On September 25 the University of Nebraska released the Understanding and Assessing Climate Change: Implications for Nebraska report as part of the Heuermann Lecture Series. The full seventy-two-page report can be read at Don Wilhite and his colleagues graciously made the report summary available to Prairie Fire, but it was embargoed until the day after our October issue hit the streets. We are proud to display it on our front page in order to underscore the importance of this report.

By Don Wilhite, Bob Oglesby, Clint Rowe, and Deborah Bathke

Globally, we face significant economic, social, and environmental risks as we confront the challenges associated with climate change. The body of scientific evidence confirms with a high degree of certainty that human activities in the form of increased concentrations of greenhouse gases (GHGs) since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, changes in land use, and other factors are the primary cause for the warming that the planet has experienced, especially in recent decades.

Immigration in Nebraska

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