Dr. Mary Headrick, candidate for the Democratic primary in the third Congressional District, announced her platform support for raising the federal minimum wage.
Dr. Headrick states, “When indexed for inflation, our minimum wage, $7.25/hour, has not kept pace with our true cost of living. The low wage explains part of our nation’s income disparity and our reliance on safety net programs such as SNAP (food stamps) and Medicaid (TennCare).
Low minimum wage causes a high poverty level among young families (17% in 2010) and children (27% poverty rate in 2010 for our new district lines, higher in 2012). Raising the minimum wage is an incentive to work and would increase federal payroll and income tax revenues while decreasing the cost of our safety nets. Raising the minimum wage is particularly important when we look at a working family’s rising transportation and healthcare costs. Raising the minimum wage would also improve the likelihood of marriage in couples who started their child-bearing and fear loss of benefits if they wed. Overall, raising our minimum wage is a common sense show of respect that helps our working families.”
Dr. Headrick favors a wage rise to $10.16/hour over 2-3 years, with exception for new, part-time young workers under 18 years of age or for special needs workers in a ‘sheltered workshop’.