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America: Suck it!

In this edition: Wage and Hour Division (WHD) Minimum Wage Laws in the States as of January 1, 2014
Don't miss the next edition of America: Suck it! Chapters include "Ayn Rand: the Lorelei of Libertarianism," "Modern American Realities: The Bill of Rights Was Never Meant to Protect You from Your Corporate Masters, Patent Pookas, and Copyright Trolls," "Voting is Not a Right, but Health Care is not a Privilege," Plus: "Modern American Myths: Democrats Care About Poor People and the Middle Class; Country-Club Americans Care About America; Libertarians Care About Anything Wholly Unconnected to Themselves; Christians Can be Followers of Ayn Rand; Wealthy People Create Jobs; All Wealthy People Suck!; No Minimum Wage Means More Middle Class Jobs; and The Debate is Over!"
Current Content Page 2 the news, brought to you by Daily skuz, uh...Koz Pages 4 13 Historical Table CHANGES IN BASIC MINIMUM WAGES IN NON-FARM EMPLOYMENT UNDER STATE LAW: SELECTED YEARS 1968 TO 2013 Pages 14 35 Mininum Wages by State Pages 36 and forward Other stuff, including some things you may have forgotten about America the Beautiful...

Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 09:41 AM PDT

SenateRepublicansblockminimumwagebill,asexpected i
by Laura ClawsonFollow for Daily Koz

Senat e Republ i cans bl ocked a bi l lr ai si ng t he m i ni m um wage t o $10. 10 an houri n a 54 t o 42 vot e ear l y W ednesday af t er noon,wi t h M aj or i t y LeaderHar r y Rei d vot i ng no f orpr ocedur alr easons and Tennessee Republ i can Sen.Bob Cor kervot i ng yes.I n ot herwor ds,al lbutone Senat e Republ i can vot ed t o keep t he f eder alm i ni m um wage at$7. 25 an hour ,or$15, 080 f ora yearoff ul l t i me wor k,bel ow t he f eder alpover t yt hr eshol df ora f am i l y oft wo. I nf act ,t hey vot ed t o bl ock a si m pl e m aj or i t y vot e on t he i ssue.A nd i twasn' ta sur pr i se.W e al lknow t hatt hi si s wher e Republ i cans st and on m aki ng wor k pay and bui l di ng t he m i ddl e cl ass.
The minimum wage has not gone up since 2009. The minimum wage of just $2.13 an hour for tipped workers has not gone up since 1991. A majority of the workers who would get a raise if the minimum wage was increased to $10.10 are women, and about a quarter of the people getting a raise would be parents. See what the current poverty minimum wage level means for workers below the fold.

Historical Table Wage and Hour Division (WHD) CHANGES IN BASIC MINIMUM WAGES IN NON-FARM EMPLOYMENT UNDER STATE LAW: SELECTED YEARS 1968 TO 2013 State or other jurisdiction Federal (FLSA) Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Connecticut Delaware Florida Georgia Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas Kentucky 1968 (a) 1970 (a) 1972 1976 (a) $2.20 & $2.30 ... 2.80 ... 1.90 2.00 1.00 1.25(b) 2.21 & 2.31 2.00 ... 1.25 2.40 1.60 2.10 1.25 ... ... 1.60 1979 1980 1981

$1.15 & $1.60 ... 2.10 18.72 26.40/wk(b) 1.25/day(b) 1.65(b) 1.00 - 1.25(b) 1.40 1.25 ... ... 1.25 1.15 ... 1.15 ... ... .65 - .75(b)

$1.30 & $1.60 ... 2.10 18.72 26.40/wk(b) 1.10 1.65(b) 1.00 - 1.25(b) 1.60 1.25 ... ... 1.60 1.25 ... 1.25 ... ... .65 - .75(b)

$1.60 ... 2.10 18.7226.40/wk(b) 1.20 1.65(b) 1.00 - 1.25(b) 1.85 1.60 ... 1.25 1.60 1.40 1.40 1.25 ... ... .65 - .75(b)

$2.90 ... 3.40 ... 2.30 2.90 1.90 2.91 2.00 ... 1.23 2.65 2.30 2.30 2.00 ... 1.60 2.00

$3.10 ... 3.60 ... 2.55 2.90 1.90 3.12 2.00 ... 1.25 2.90 2.30 2.30 2.00 ... 1.60 2.15

$3.35 ... 3.85 ... 2.70 3.35 1.90 3.37 2.00 ... 1.25 3.10 2.30 2.30 2.00 ... 1.60 2.15

Louisiana Maine Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico State or other jurisdiction New York North Carolina North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah

... 1.40 1.00 & 1.15 1.60 1.25 .70 - 1.15(b) ... ... ... 1.00 1.25 1.40 1.40 1.15 - 1.40 1968 (a)

... 1.60 1.30 1.60 1.25 .70 - 1.15(b) ... ... ... 1.00 1.30 1.45 & 1.60 1.50 1.30 - 1.60 1970 (a)

... 1.40 - 1.80 1.60 1.75 1.60 .75 - 1.60 ... ... 1.60 1.00 1.60 1.60 1.50 1.30 - 1.60 1972 1.85 1.45 1.00 - 1.45 .75 - 1.25(b) 1.40 1.25` 1.60 1.60 ... 1.00 ... 1.40 1.20 - 1.35(b)

... 2.30 2.20 & 2.30 2.10 2.20 1.80 ... ... 1.80 1.60 2.20 & 2.30 2.20 - 2.30 2.20 2.00 1976 (a) 2.30 2.00 2.00 - 2.30 1.60 1.80 2.30 2.20 2.30 ... 2.00 ... 1.40 1.55 1.70(b)

... 2.90 2.90 2.90 2.90 2.30 ... ... 2.00 1.60 2.75 2.90 2.50 2.30 1979 2.90 2.50 2.10 - 2.30 2.30 2.00 2.30 2.90 2.30 ... 2.30 ... 1.40 2.20 2.45(b)

... 3.10 3.10 3.10 3.10 2.90 ... ... 2.00 1.60 2.75 3.10 3.10 2.65 1980 3.10 2.75 2.60 - 3.10 2.30 2.00 2.90 3.10 2.65 ... 2.30 ... 1.40 2.35 2.60(b)

... 3.35 3.35 3.35 3.35 3.10 ... ... 2.00 1.60 2.75 3.35 3.35 2.90 1981 3.35 2.90 2.80 - 3.10 2.30 3.10 3.10 3.35 2.90 ... 2.30 ... 1.40 2.50 2.75(b)

1.60 1.60 1.00 1.25 1.00 - 1.25 1.00 - 1.45 .75 - 1.25(b) .75 - 1.25(b) 1.00 1.00 1.25 1.25 1.15 1.30 1.40 1.60 ... ... 17.00 - 20.00/wk 1.00 ... ... ... ... 1.00 - 1.15(b) 1.00 - 1.15(b)

Vermont 1.40 Virginia ... Washington 1.60 West Virginia 1.00 Wisconsin 1.25 (b) Wyoming 1.20 District of Columbia 1.25 - 1.40 Guam 1.25 Puerto Rico .43 - 1.60 U.S. Virgin Islands NA State or other jurisdiction Federal (FLSA) Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Connecticut Delaware Florida Georgia Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas 1988 $3.35 ... 3.85 ... 3.25 3.35 3.00 3.75 3.35 ... 3.25 3.85 2.30 2.30 2.00 ... 1.60

1.60 ... 1.60 1.00 1.30 (b) 1.30 1.60 - 2.00 1.60 .43 - 1.60 NA 1991 $3.80 ... 4.30 ... 3.35 4.25 3.00 4.25 3.80 ... 3.25 3.85 3.80 3.80 3.35 4.25 2.65

1.60 ... 1.60 1.20 1.45 (b) 1.50 1.60 - 2.25 1.90 .65 - 1.60 NA 1992 $4.25 ... 4.75 ... 3.65 4.25 3.00 4.27 4.25 ... 3.25 3.85 4.25 4.25 3.35 4.65 2.65

2.30 2.00 2.20 - 2.30 2.00 2.10 1.60 2.25 - 2.75 2.30 .76 - 2.50 NA 1994 $4.25 ... 4.75 ... 4.25 4.25 3.00 4.27 4.25 ... 3.25 5.25 4.25 4.25 3.35 4.65 2.65

2.90 3.10 3.35 2.35 2.35 2.65 2.30 2.30 2.30 2.20 2.20 2.75 2.80 3.00 3.25 1.60 1.60 1.60 2.46 - 3.00 2.50 - 3.50 2.50 - 3.75 2.90 3.10 3.35 1.20 - 2.50 1.20 - 2.50 1.20 - 3.10 2.90 3.10 3.35 1996 $4.25 ... 4.75 ... 4.25[c] 4.25 3.00 4.27 4.65 ... 3.25(d) 5.25 4.25 4.25[c] 3.35(e) 4.65 2.65 1997 $4.75 ... 5.25 ... 4.25[c] 4.75 4.75 4.77 5.00 ... 3.25(d) 5.25 4.25 4.75[c] 3.35(e) 4.75 2.65 1998 $5.15 ... 5.65 ... 5.15[c] 5.15 5.15 5.18 5.15 ... 3.25(d) 5.25 5.15 5.15[c] 3.35(e) 5.15 2.65

Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York North Carolina State or other jurisdiction North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah

3.35 ... 3.65 3.35 3.65 3.35 3.55 & 3.50(f) ... ... 3.35 3.35 3.35 3.55 3.35 3.35 3.35 3.35 1988 2.80 - 3.10 2.30 3.35 3.35 3.35 3.65 ... 2.80 ... 3.35 2.50 - 2.75(b)

3.80 ... 3.85 3.80 3.75 3.35 4.25(g) ... 3.80 3.80 3.35 3.80 3.85 3.80 3.35 3.80 3.35 1991 3.40 3.80(g) 3.80(g) 4.75 3.80 4.25 ... 3.80 ... 3.35 3.80

4.25 ... 4.25 4.25 4.25 3.35 4.25(g) ... 4.25 4.25(g) 4.25 4.25 4.25 4.25 3.35 4.25 3.80 1992 4.25 4.25(g) 4.25(g) 4.75 4.25 4.45 ... 4.25 ... 3.35 4.25

4.25 ... 4.25 4.25 4.25 3.35 4.25(g) ... 4.25 4.25(g) 4.25 4.25 4.25 5.05 4.25 4.25 4.25 1994 4.25 4.25(g) 4.25(g) 4.75 4.25 4.45 ... 4.25 ... 3.35 4.25

4.25 ... 4.25 4.25 4.75 3.35(e) 4.25(g) ... 4.25 4.25(g) 4.25[c] 4.25 4.25 5.05 4.25 4.25 4.25 1996 4.25 4.25(g) 4.25(g) 4.75 4.25 4.45 ... 4.25 ... 3.35 4.25

4.25 ... 4.75 4.75 5.25 3.35(e) 4.25(g) ... 4.75 4.75(g) 4.25[c] 4.75 4.75 5.05 4.25 4.25 4.25 1997 4.75 4.25(g) 4.75(g) 5.50 4.75 5.15 ... 4.25 ... 3.35 4.75

4.25 ... 5.15 5.15 5.25 5.15(e) 5.15(g) ... 5.15 5.15(g) 5.15[c] 5.15 5.15 5.05 4.25 4.25 5.15 1998 5.15 4.25(g) 5.15(g) 6.00 5.15 5.15 ... 5.15 ... 3.35 5.15

Vermont 3.55 Virginia 2.65 Washington 2.30 West Virginia 3.35 Wisconsin 3.35 Wyoming 1.60 District of Columbia 3.50 - 4.85 Guam 3.35 Puerto Rico 1.20 - 3.35

3.85 2.65 4.25 3.35 3.80 1.60 3.70 - 4.85 3.80 1.20 - 4.25(i) 4..65(g,,j) 2001 $5.15 ... 5.65 ... 5.15[c] 6.25 5.15 6.40 6.15 ... 3.25(d) 5.25 5.15 5.15[c] 5.15(e) 5.15

4.25 3.65 4.25 3.80 3.80 1.60 3.90 - 5.45 4.25 1.20 - 4.25(i) 4..65(g,,j) 2002 $5.15 ... 5.65 ... 5.15[c] 6.75 5.15 6.70 6.15 ... 5.15(d) 5.75 5.15 5.15[c] 5.15(e) 5.15

4.25 4.25 4.25 4.25 4.25 1.60 4.25 4.25

U.S. Virgin Islands 3.35 State or other jurisdiction Federal (FLSA) Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Connecticut Delaware Florida Georgia Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa 2000 $5.15 ... 5.65 ... 5.15[c] 5.75 5.15 6.15 5.65 ... 3.25(d) 5.25 5.15 5.15[c] 5.15(e) 5.15

5.25(e) 5.15[c] 4.90 4.75 (d) 5.15 1.60 6.15 5.15 1.20 1.20 - 4.25(i) 1.20 - 4.75(i)1.20 - 4.75(i) 5.15(i) 4..65(g,,j) 4.65(g) 4.65(g, j) 4.65(g, j) 2003 $5.15 2004 $5.15 ... 7.15 ... 5.15[c] 6.75 5.15 7.10 6.15 ... 5.15(d) 6.25 5.15 5.50[c] 5.15(e) 5.15 2005 $5.15 ... 7.15 ... 5.15[c] 6.75 5.15 7.10 6.15 ... 5.15(d) 6.25 5.15 6.50[c] 5.15(e) 5.15 2006 5.15 ... 7.15 ... 5.15 [c] 6.75 5.15 7.40 6.15 6.40 5.15(d) 6.75 5.15 6.50[c] 5.15(e) 5.15

4.75(e) 4.25[c] 4.90 4.25 (d) 4.25 1.60 5.25 (h) 4.25

5.00(e) 4.75[c] 4.90 4.25 (d) 4.75 1.60 5.75 4.75

... 7.15 ... 5.15[c] 6.75 5.15 6.90 6.15 ... 5.15(d) 6.25 5.15 5.15[c] 5.15(e) 5.15

Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York North Carolina State or other jurisdiction North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island

2.65 5.15 ... 5.15 5.15 6.00 5.15(e) 4.90 - 5.15(g) ... 5.15 4.00 - 5.15(g) 5.15[c] 5.15 5.15 5.15 4.25 4.25 5.15 2000 5.15 2.80 - 4.25(g) 2.00 - 5.15(g) 6.50 5.15 5.65

2.65 5.15 ... 5.15 5.15 6.75 5.15(e) 4.90 - 5.15(g) ... 5.15 4.00 - 5.15(g) 5.15[c] 5.15 5.15 5.15 4.25 5.15 5.15 2001 5.15 2.80 - 4.25(g) 2.00 - 5.15(g) 6.50 5.15 6.15

2.65 5.15 ... 5.75 5.15 6.75 5.15(e) 4.90 - 5.15(g) ... 5.15 4.00 - 5.15(g) 5.15[c] 5.15 5.15 5.15 4.25 5.15 5.15 2002 5.15 2.80 - 4.25(g) 2.00 - 5.15(g) 6.50 5.15 6.15

2.65 5.15 ... 6.25 5.15 6.75 5.15(e) 4.90 5.15(g) ... 5.15 4.00 5.15(g) 5.15[c] 5.15 5.15 5.15 4.25 5.15 5.15 2003 5.15 2.80 4.25(g) 2.00 5.15(g) 6.90 5.15 6.15

2.65 5.15 ... 6.25 5.15 6.75 5.15(e) 4.90 5.15(g) ... 5.15 4.00 5.15(g) 5.15[c] 5.15 5.15 5.15 5.15 5.15 5.15 2004 5.15 2.80 4.25(g) 2.00 5.15(g) 7.05 5.15 6.75

2.65 5.15 ... 6.35 5.15 6.75 5.15(e) 4.90 5.15(g) ... 5.15 4.00 5.15(g) 5.15[c] 5.15 5.15 5.15 5.15 6.00 5.15 2005 5.15 2.80 4.25(g) 2.00 5.15(g) 7.25 5.15 6.75

2.65 5.15 ... 6.50 5.15 6.75 5.15(e) 5.25 6.15(g) ... 5.15 4.00 - 5.15 5.15[c] 5.15 5.15 6.15 5.15 6.75 5.15 2006 5.15 2.80 4.25(g) 2.00 - 5.15 7.50 5.15 6.75

South Carolina ... South Dakota 5.15 Tennessee ... Texas 3.35 Utah 5.15 Vermont 5.75(e) Virginia 5.15[c] Washington 6.50 West Virginia 5.15(d) Wisconsin 5.15 Wyoming 1.60 District of Columbia 6.15 Guam 5.15 Puerto Rico 3.61 - 5.15(i)

... 5.15 ... 3.35 5.15 6.25(e) 5.15[c] 6.72 5.15(d) 5.15 1.60 6.15 5.15 3.61 - 5.15(i) 4.30 - 4.65(g,j)

U.S. Virgin Islands 4.30 - 4.65(g,j) State or other jurisdiction Federal (FLSA) Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Connecticut Delaware Florida

... 5.15 ... 5.15 5.15 7.25 5.15[c] 7.63 5.15(d) 5.70 5.15 7.00 5.15 3.61 3.61 - 5.15(i) 3.61 - 5.15(i) 3.61 - 5.15(i)3.61 - 5.15(i) 5.15(i) 4.30 4.30 4.30 4.30 - 4.65 4.30 - 4.65(g,j) 4.65(g,j) 4.65(g,j) 4.65(g,j) (g) 2009 6.55 ... 7.15 7.25 6.25[c] 8.00 7.28 8.00 7.15 7.21 2010 7.25 ... 7.75 7.25 6.25[c] 8.00 7.24 8.25 7.25 7.25 2011 7.25 ... 7.75 7.35 6.25[c] 8.00 7.36 8.25 7.25 7.25 2012 7.25 ... 7.75 7.65 6.25[c] 8.00 7.64 8.25 7.25 7.67 2013 7.25 ... 7.75 7.80 6.25[c] 8.00 7.78 8.25 7.25 7.79

... 5.15 ... 5.15 5.15 6.25(e) 5.15[c] 6.90 5.15(d) 5.15 5.15 6.15 5.15

... 5.15 ... 5.15 5.15 6.25(e) 5.15[c] 7.01 5.15(d) 5.15 5.15 6.15 5.15

... 5.15 ... 5.15 5.15 6.75(e) 5.15[c] 7.16 5.15(d) 5.15 5.15 6.15 5.15

... 5.15 ... 5.15 5.15 7.00(e) 5.15[c] 7.35 5.15(d) 5.15 5.15 6.60 5.15

2007 5.15 ... 7.15 6.75 6.25[c] 7.50 6.85 7.65 6.65 6.67

2008 5.85 ... 7.15 6.90 6.25[c] 8.00 7.02 7.65 7.15 6.79

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Georgia Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York North Carolina State or other jurisdiction North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon

5.15(d) 7.25 5.15 6.50[c] 5.15(e) 5.15 2.65 5.15 ... 6.75 6.15 7.50 6.95(e) 5.25-6.15(g) ... 6.50 4.00-6.15(g) 5.15[c] 6.15 5.15 7.15 5.15 7.15 6.15 2007 5.15 6.85 2.00-5.15(g) 7.80

5.15(d) 7.25 5.85 7.50[c] 5.85(e) 7.25 2.65 5.85 ... 7.00 6.15 8.00 7.15(e) 5.25-6.15(g) ... 6.65 4.00-6.25(g) 5.85[c] 6.33 6.50 7.15 6.50 7.15 6.15 2008 5.85 7.00 2.00-5.85(g) 7.95

5.15(d) 7.25 6.55 7.75[c] 6.55(e) 7.25 2.65 6.55 ... 7.25 6.55 8.00 7.40(e) 5.25-6.15(g) ... 7.05 4.00-6.90(g) 6.55[c] 6.55-6.85 7.25 7.15 7.50 7.15 6.55 2009 6.55 7.30 2.00-6.55(g) 8.40

5.15(d) 7.25 7.25 8.00[c] 7.25(e) 7.25 7.25 7.25 ... 7.50 7.25 8.00 7.40(e) 5.25-6.15(g) ... 7.25 4.00-7.25(g) 7.25[c] 6.55-7.55 7.25 7.25 7.50 7.25 7.25 2010 7.25 7.30 2.00-7.25(g) 8.40

5.15(d) 7.25 7.25 8.25[c] 7.25(e) 7.25 7.25 7.25 ... 7.50 7.25 8.00 7.40(e) 5.25-6.15(g) ... 7.25 4.00-7.35(g) 7.25[c] 7.25-8.25 7.25 7.25 7.50 7.25 7.25 2011 7.25 7.40 2.00-7.25(g) 8.50

5.15(d) 7.25 7.25 8.25[c] 7.25(e) 7.25 7.25 7.25 ... 7.50 7.25 8.00 7.40(e) 5.25-6.15(g) ... 7.25 4.00-7.65(g) 7.25[c] 7.25-8.25 7.25 7.25 7.50 7.25 7.25 2012 7.25 7.70 2.00-7.25(g) 8.80

5.15(d) 7.25 7.25 8.25[c] 7.25(e) 7.25 7.25 7.25 ... 7.50 7.25 8.00 7.40(e) 5.25-6.15(g) ... 7.35 4.00-7.80(g) 7.25[c] 7.25-8.25 7.25 7.25 7.50 7.25 7.25 2013 7.25 7.85 2.00-7.25(g) 8.95

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Pennsylvania 6.25 Rhode Island 7.40 South Carolina ... South Dakota 5.15 Tennessee ... Texas 5.15 Utah 5.15 Vermont 7.53(e) Virginia 5.15[c] Washington 7.93 West Virginia 5.85 Wisconsin 6.50 Wyoming 5.15 District of Columbia 7.00 Guam 5.15 Puerto Rico 3.61-5.15(i)

7.15 7.40 ... 5.85 ... 5.85 5.85 7.68(e) 5.85[c] 8.07 6.55 6.50 5.15 7.00 5.85 3.61-5.15(i) 4.30-6.15(j)

7.15 7.40 ... 6.55 ... 6.55 6.55 8.06(e) 6.55[c] 8.55 7.25 6.50 5.15 7.55 5.85 4.10(i) 4.30-6.15(j)

U.S. Virgin Islands 4.30-6.15(g,j)

7.25 7.40 ... 7.25 ... 7.25 7.25 8.06(e) 7.25[c] 8.55 7.25 7.25 5.15 8.25 7.25 5.08 7.25 (i2) 4.30-7.25(j)

7.25 7.40 ... 7.25 ... 7.25 7.25 8.15(e) 7.25[c] 8.67 7.25 7.25 5.15 8.25 7.25 5.08 7.25 (i2) 4.30-7.25(j)

7.25 7.40 ... 7.25 ... 7.25 7.25 8.46(e) 7.25[c] 9.04 7.25 7.25 5.15 8.25 7.25 5.08 7.25 (i2) 4.30-7.25(j)

7.25 7.75 ... 7.25 ... 7.25 7.25 8.60(e) 7.25[c] 9.19 7.25 7.25 5.15 8.25 7.25 5.08 7.25 (i2) 4.30-7.25(j)

Sources: 1) Wage data for the years 1968 through 1998 was obtained from the Book of the States, 1968 - 1999 edition, volume 32 which was published by the Council of State Governments. 2) Wage data for the years 2000 through the present was obtained from the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of State Standards Programs Wage and Hour Division web site Minimum Wage and Overtime Pay Standards Applicable to Nonsupervisory NONFARM Private Sector Employment Under State and Federal Laws.

Note:

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Wage rates are for January 1 of each year except 1968 and 1972, which show rates as of February. A range of rates, as in Puerto Rico, reflects which rates differ by industry, occupation or other factors, as established under a wage-board type law. Wage rates in bold indicate an increase over the previous year's rate. Key: ... - not applicable N.A. - not available (a) - under the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the two rates shown in 1968, 1970, and 1976 reflect the former multipletrack minimum-wage system in effect from 1961 to 1978. The lower rate applied to newly covered persons brought under the act by amendments, whose rates were gradually phased in. A similar dual-track system was also in effect in certain years under the laws in Connecticut, Maryland, and Nevada. (b) - For the years indicated, the laws in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Kentucky, Minnesota, Ohio, Utah, and Wisconsin applied only to women and minors. [c] - Rates applicable to employers of four or more. (d) - Rates applicable to employers of six or more. In West Virginia, applicable to employers of six or more in one location. (e) - Rates applicable to employers of two or more. (f) - For the years 1988 to 1990, Minnesota had a two tier schedule with the higher rate applicable to employers covered by the FLSA and the lower rate to employers not covered by the FLSA. (g) - Minnesota sets a lower rate for enterprises with annual receipts of less than $500,000 ($4.90, January 1, 1998-January 1, 2005). The dollar amount prior to September 1, 1997 was $362,500 ($4.00 - January 1, 1991-January 1, 1997); Montana sets a lower rate for businesses with gross annual sales of $110,000 or less ($4.00 - January 1, 1992-January 1, 2005); Ohio sets a lower rate for employers with gross annual sales from $150,000 to $500,000 ($3.35 - January 1, 1991-January 1, 2005) and for employers with gross annual sales under $150,000 ($2.50 - January 1, 1991-January 1, 2005); Oklahoma sets a lower rate for employers of fewer than 10 full-time employees at any one location and for those with annual gross sales of less than $100,000 ($2.00, January 1, 1991-January 1, 2005);

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and the U.S. Virgin Islands sets a lower rate for businesses with gross annual receipts of less than $150,000 ($4.30, January 1, 1991January 1, 2005). (h) - In the District of Columbia, wage orders were replaced by a statutory minimum wage on October 1, 1993. A $5.45 minimum rate remained in effect for the laundry and dry cleaning industry as the result of the grandfather clause. (i) - In Puerto Rico, separate minimum rates are in effect for almost 350 non-farm occupations by industry Mandatory Decrees. Rates are higher than those in the range listed in effect in a few specific occupations. (i2) - The rate is 5.08/hour for those employees not covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act. (j) - In the U.S. Virgin Islands, implementation of an indexed rate, which was to have started January 1, 1991, was delayed. Prepared By:
Office of Communications Wage and Hour Division U.S. Department of Labor

This document was last revised in December 2013; unless otherwise stated, the information reflects requirements that were in effect, or would take effect, as of January 1, 2014.

Click on any state or jurisdiction to find out about applicable minimum wage laws. Note: Where Federal and state law have different minimum wage rates, the higher standard applies.

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Consolidated State Minimum Wage Update Table (see below) Alabama Minimum Wage Rates Premium Pay After Designated Hours2 Daily Weekly

ALABAMA No state minimum wage law. Back to Top

Basic Minimum Rate (per hour)

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Alaska Minimum Wage Rates Premium Pay After Designated Hours 2 Basic Minimum Rate (per hour) Daily Weekly 8 40 $7.75

ALASKA

Under a voluntary flexible work hour plan approved by the Alaska Department of Labor, a 10 hour day, 40 hour workweek may be instituted with premium pay after 10 hours a day instead of after 8 hours. The premium overtime pay requirement on either a daily or weekly basis is not applicable to employers of fewer than 4 employees. Back to Top AMERICAN SAMOA

American Samoa has special minimum wage rates. Back to Top

Arizona Minimum Wage Rates Premium Pay After Designated Hours 2 Basic Minimum Weekly Rate (per hour) Daily $7.90

ARIZONA

Rate is increased annually based upon a cost of living formula. Back to Top

Arkansas Minimum Wage Rates Premium Pay 2 Basic Minimum After Designated Hours Rate (per hour) Daily Weekly $6.25 40

ARKANSAS (Applicable to

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employers of 4 or more employees) Back to Top

California Minimum Wage Rates Premium Pay After Designated Hours 2 Basic Minimum CALIFORNIA Rate (per hour) Daily Weekly 40; on 7th day: First 8 hours (time and 8 half) Over 12 Over 8 hours (double on 7th day $8.00 time) (double time) Any work in excess of eight hours in one workday, in excess of 40 hours in one workweek, or in the first eight hours worked on the seventh day of work in any one workweek shall be at the rate of one and one-half times the regular rate of pay. Any work in excess of 12 hours in one day or in excess of eight hours on any seventh day of a workweek shall be paid no less than twice the regular rate of pay. California Labor Code section 510. Exceptions apply to an employee working pursuant to an alternative workweek adopted pursuant to applicable Labor Code sections and for time spent commuting. (See Labor Code section 510 for exceptions). Back to Top

Colorado Minimum Wage Rates Premium Pay After Designated Hours 2 Basic Minimum Rate (per hour) Daily Weekly $8.00 12 40

COLORADO

Minimum wage rate and overtime provisions applicable to retail and service, commercial support service, food and beverage, and health and medical industries. Rate is increased or decreased annually based upon a cost of living formula. Back to Top

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Connecticut Minimum Wage Rates Premium Pay Basic After Designated Hours 2 Minimum Rate CONNECTICUT (per hour) Daily Weekly $8.70 40

In restaurants and hotel restaurants, for the 7th consecutive day of work, premium pay is required at time and one half the minimum rate. The Connecticut minimum wage rate automatically increases to 0.5 percent above the rate set in the Fair Labor Standards Act if the Federal minimum wage rate equals or becomes higher than the State minimum. Back to Top

Delaware Minimum Wage Rates Premium Pay After Designated Hours 2 Basic Minimum Weekly Rate (per hour) Daily $7.25

DELAWARE

The Delaware minimum wage equals the Federal minimum wage if it is set below the Federal rate. Back to Top

District of Columbia Minimum Wage Rates Premium Pay 2 DISTRICT OF Basic Minimum After Designated Hours COLUMBIA Rate(per hour) Daily Weekly $8.25 40 The District of Columbia minimum wage equals the Federal minimum wage plus $1.00 if it is set below the Federal rate. Back to Top

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Florida Minimum Wage Rates Premium Pay After Designated Hours 2 Daily Weekly

FLORIDA

Basic Minimum Rate(per hour) $7.93

Rate is increased annually based upon a cost of living formula. Back to Top

Georgia Minimum Wage Rates Premium Pay After Designated Hours 2 Basic Minimum Weekly Rate (per hour) Daily

GEORGIA (Applicable to employers of 6 or more employees)

$5.15

The State law excludes from coverage any employment that is subject to the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act when the Federal rate is greater than the State rate. Back to Top

Guam Minimum Wage Rates Premium Pay 2 Basic Minimum After Designated Hours Weekly Rate (per hour) Daily $7.25 Back to Top 40

GUAM

Hawaii Minimum Wage Rates Premium Pay 2 Basic Minimum After Designated Hours Weekly Rate(per hour) Daily $7.25 40

HAWAII

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An employee earning a guaranteed monthly compensation of $2,000 or more is exempt from the State minimum wage and overtime law. Domestic service workers are subject to Hawaii's minimum wage and overtime requirements. Act 248, Regular Session 2013. The State law excludes from coverage any employment that is subject to the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act unless the State wage rate is higher than the Federal rate. Back to Top

Idaho Minimum Wage Rates Premium Pay 2 Basic Minimum After Designated Hours Weekly Rate (per hour) Daily $7.25

IDAHO Back to Top

Illinois Minimum Wage Rates Premium Pay After Designated Hours 2 Basic Minimum Rate (per hour) Daily Weekly

ILLINOIS (Applicable to employers of 4 or more employees, excluding family members) Back to Top

$8.25

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Indiana Minimum Wage Rates Premium Pay 2 Basic Minimum After Designated Hours Weekly Rate(per hour) Daily

INDIANA (Applicable to employers of 2 or more employees)

$7.25

40

20

Back to Top

Iowa Minimum Wage Rates Premium Pay 2 Basic Minimum After Designated Hours Rate (per hour) Daily Weekly $7.25

IOWA

The Iowa minimum wage equals the Federal minimum wage rate if it is set below the Federal rate. Back to Top

Kansas Minimum Wage Rates Premium Pay 2 Basic Minimum After Designated Hours Weekly Rate(per hour) Daily $7.25 46

KANSAS

The State law excludes from coverage any employment that is subject to the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act. Back to Top

Kentucky Minimum Wage Rates Premium Pay After Designated Hours 2 Basic Minimum Rate(per hour) Daily Weekly 40 $7.25 7th day

KENTUCKY

The 7th day overtime law, which is separate from the minimum wage law, requires premium pay on the seventh day for employees who work seven days in any one workweek. The state adopts the Federal minimum wage rate by reference if the Federal rate is greater than the State rate.

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Compensating time in lieu of overtime is allowed upon written request by an employee of any county, charter county, consolidated local government, or urban-county government, including an employee of a county-elected official. Back to Top

Louisiana Minimum Wage Rates Premium Pay After Designated Hours 2 Basic Minimum Weekly Rate(per hour) Daily

LOUISIANA There is no state minimum wage law. Back to Top

N/A

N/A

Maine Minimum Wage Rates Premium Pay 2 Basic Minimum After Designated Hours Rate(per hour) Daily Weekly $7.50 40

MAINE

The Maine minimum wage equals the Federal minimum wage when it is set below the Federal rate, with the exception that any such increase is limited to no more than $1.00 per hour above the current legislated State rate. Back to Top

Maryland Minimum Wage Rates Premium Pay After Designated Hours 2 Basic Minimum Rate(per hour) Daily Weekly $7.25 40

MARYLAND

The Maryland minimum wage equals the Federal minimum wage when set below the Federal rate. Back to Top

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Massachusetts Minimum Wage Rates Basic Minimum Rate (per hour) $8.00 Premium Pay After Designated Hours 2 Daily Weekly 40

MASSACHUSETTS

The Massachusetts minimum wage rate automatically increases to 10 cents above the Federal rate if the Federal rate equals or becomes higher than the State rate. Back to Top

Michigan Minimum Wage Rates Premium Pay After Designated Hours 2 Basic Minimum Weekly Rate (per hour) Daily

MICHIGAN (Applicable to employers of 2 or more employees)

$7.40

40

The State law excludes from coverage any employment that is subject to the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act unless the State wage rate is higher than the Federal rate. Back to Top

Minnesota Minimum Wage Rates Premium Pay After Designated Hours 2 Basic Minimum Weekly Rate(per hour) Daily

MINNESOTA Large employer (enterprise with annual receipts of $625,000 or more) Small employer (enterprise with annual receipts of less than

$6.15

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$5.25

48

23

$625,000) Back to Top

Mississippi Minimum Wage Rates Premium Pay After Designated Hours 2 Basic Minimum Rate (per hour) Daily Weekly

MISSISSIPPI No state minimum wage law. Back to Top

N/A

N/A

Missouri Minimum Wage Rates Premium Pay After Designated Hours 2 Basic Minimum Rate (per hour) Daily Weekly $7.50 40

MISSOURI

In addition to the exemption for federally covered employment, the law exempts, among others, employees of a retail or service business with gross annual sales or business done of less than $500,000. Premium pay required after 52 hours in seasonal amusement or recreation businesses. Minimum wage is to be increased or decreased by a cost of living factor starting January 1, 2008 and every January 1 thereafter. Back to Top

Montana Minimum Wage Rates Premium Pay After Designated Hours 2 Basic Minimum Weekly Rate(per hour) Daily $7.90 40

MONTANA State Law Except businesses with gross annual

$4.00

40

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sales of $110,000 or less Minimum wage is subject to a cost of living adjustment done by September 30 of each year and effective on January 1 of the following year. Back to Top

Nebraska Minimum Wage Rates Premium Pay After Designated Hours 2 Basic Minimum Rate(per hour) Daily Weekly

NEBRASKA (Applicable to employers of 4 or more employees) Back to Top

$7.25

Nevada Minimum Wage Rates Premium Pay After Designated Hours 2 Daily Weekly

NEVADA

Basic Minimum Rate (per hour) $8.25 (with no health ins. benefits provided by employer) $7.25 (with health ins. benefits provided by employer and received by employee)

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The premium overtime pay requirement on either a daily or weekly basis is not applicable to employees who are compensated at not less than one and one-half times the minimum rate or to employees of enterprises having a gross annual sales volume of less than $250,000. The minimum wage rate may be increased annually based upon changes in the cost of living index increase. Back to Top

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New Hampshire Minimum Wage Rates Premium Pay After Designated Hours 2 Basic Minimum Rate(per hour) Daily Weekly $7.25 40

NEW HAMPSHIRE

The New Hampshire minimum wage equals the Federal minimum wage when set below the Federal rate. Back to Top

New Jersey Minimum Wage Rates Premium Pay After Designated Hours 2 Basic Minimum NEW JERSEY Rate(per hour) Daily Weekly $8.25 40 Back to Top

New Mexico Minimum Wage Rates Premium Pay 2 Basic Minimum After Designated Hours NEW MEXICO Rate(per hour) Daily Weekly $7.50 40 Back to Top

New York Minimum Wage Rates Premium Pay After Designated Hours 2 Basic Minimum Weekly Rate(per hour) Daily $8.00 40

NEW YORK

The New York minimum wage increase becomes effective on December 31, 2013. The New York minimum wage equals the Federal minimum wage when set below the Federal rate.

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For residential employees, the overtime rate applies after 44 hours. Employers operating a factory, mercantile establishment, hotel, restaurant, freight/passenger elevator, or theater; or a building employing security guards, janitors, superintendents, managers, engineers, or firemen must provide 24 hours of consecutive rest each week. Domestic workers are entitled to 24 hours of consecutive rest each week, and receive premium pay if they work during such period. Employees receive 1 hours pay at minimum wage rate in addition to owed wages when spread of hours exceeds 10 hours, there is a split shift, or both. Back to Top

North Carolina Minimum Wage Rates Premium Pay 2 Basic Minimum After Designated Hours Rate (per hour) Daily Weekly $7.25 40

NORTH CAROLINA

Premium pay is required after 45 hours a week in seasonal amusements or recreational establishments. Back to Top

North Dakota Minimum Wage Rates Premium Pay After Designated Hours 2 Basic Minimum Rate(per hour) Daily Weekly $7.25 40

NORTH DAKOTA Back to Top

Ohio Minimum Wage Rates Premium Pay After Designated Hours 2 Basic Minimum Rate(per hour) Daily Weekly

OHIO The increased minimum wage will apply to

$7.95

40

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employees of businesses with annual gross receipts of more than $292,000 per year. $7.25 (for those employers grossing $292,000 or less)

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For employees of employers with gross annual sales of less than $292,000, the state minimum wage is tied to the Federal minimum wage. Back to Top

Oklahoma Minimum Wage Rates Premium Pay 2 Basic Minimum After Designated Hours Rate(per hour) Daily Weekly

OKLAHOMA Employers of ten or more full time employees at any one location and employers with annual gross sales over $100,000 irrespective of number of full time employees. All other employers.

$7.25 $2.00

The Oklahoma state minimum wage law does not contain current dollar minimums. Instead the state adopts the Federal minimum wage rate by reference. The State law excludes from coverage any employment that is subject to the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act. Back to Top

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Oregon Minimum Wage Rates Premium Pay After Designated Hours 2 Basic Minimum Rate (per hour) Daily Weekly $9.10 40

OREGON

Premium pay required after 10 hours a day in nonfarm canneries, driers, or packing plants and in mills, factories or manufacturing establishments (excluding sawmills, planning mills, shingle mills, and logging camps). Beginning January 1, 2004, and annually thereafter, the rate will be adjusted for inflation by a calculation using the U.S. City Average Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers for All Items. The wage amount established will be rounded to the nearest five cents. Back to Top

Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Rates Premium Pay Basic 2 Minimum Rate After Designated Hours PENNSYLVANIA (per hour) Daily Weekly $7.25 40 Back to Top

Puerto Rico Minimum Wage Rates Premium Pay After Designated Hours 2 Basic Minimum Daily Weekly Rate(per hour) $7.25/hour for employees covered by the FLSA 8 40 $5.08/hour for And on employees not statutory rest (double time) covered by the day (double FLSA time)

PUERTO RICO

Employers covered by the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) are subject only to the Federal minimum wage and all applicable regulations. Employers not covered by the FLSA will

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be subject to a minimum wage that is at least 70 percent of the Federal minimum wage or the applicable mandatory decree rate, whichever is higher. The Secretary of Labor and Human Resources may authorize a rate based on a lower percentage for any employer who can show that implementation of the 70 percent rate would substantially curtail employment in that business. Back to Top

Rhode Island Minimum Wage Rates Premium Pay 2 Basic Minimum After Designated Hours Rate(per hour) Daily Weekly $8.00 40

RHODE ISLAND

Time and one-half premium pay for work on Sundays and holidays in retail and certain other businesses is required under two laws that are separate from the minimum wage law. Back to Top

South Carolina Minimum Wage Rates Premium Pay After Designated Hours 2 Basic Minimum Rate(per hour) Daily Weekly

SOUTH CAROLINA No state minimum wage law. Back to Top

N/A

N/A

South Dakota Minimum Wage Rates Premium Pay After Designated Hours 2 Basic Minimum Rate(per hour) Daily Weekly $7.25

SOUTH DAKOTA

Back to Top

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Tennessee Minimum Wage Rates Premium Pay After Designated Hours 2 Basic Minimum Rate (per hour) Daily Weekly

TENNESSEE No state minimum wage law.

N/A

N/A

The state does have a promised wage law whereby the employers are responsible for paying to the employees the wages promised by the employer. Back to Top

Texas Minimum Wage Rates Premium Pay After Designated Hours 2 Basic Minimum Rate(per hour) Daily Weekly $7.25

TEXAS

The State law excludes from coverage any employment that is subject to the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act. The Texas State minimum wage law does not contain current dollar minimums. Instead the State adopts the Federal minimum wage rate by reference. Back to Top

Utah Minimum Wage Rates Premium Pay After Designated Hours 2 Basic Minimum Weekly Rate (per hour) Daily $7.25

UTAH

The Utah state minimum wage law does not contain current dollar minimums. Instead the state law authorizes the adoption of the Federal minimum wage rate via administrative action. The State law excludes from coverage any employment that is subject to the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act.

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Back to Top

Vermont Minimum Wage Rates Premium Pay 2 Basic Minimum After Designated Hours Rate(per hour) Daily Weekly

VERMONT (Applicable to employers of two or more employees)

$8.73

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The State overtime pay provision has very limited application because it exempts numerous types of establishments, such as retail and service; seasonal amusement/recreation; hotels, motels, restaurants; and transportation employees to whom the Federal (FLSA) overtime provision does not apply. The Vermont minimum wage is automatically replaced with the Federal minimum wage rate if it is higher than the State minimum. Beginning January 1, 2007, and on each subsequent January 1, the minimum wage rate shall be increased by the smaller of either five percent or the percentage increase of the Consumer Price Index, or city average, not seasonally adjusted. Back to Top

Virginia Minimum Wage Rates Premium Pay After Designated Hours 2 Basic Minimum Weekly Rate(per hour) Daily

VIRGINIA (Applicable to employers of 4 or more employees)

$7.25

The Virginia state minimum wage law does not contain current dollar minimums. Instead the state adopts the Federal minimum wage rate by reference. The State law excludes from coverage any employment that is subject to the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act. Back to Top

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Virgin Islands Minimum Wage Rates Premium Pay After Designated Hours 2 Basic Minimum Rate(per hour) Daily Weekly 40 On 6th and 7th $7.25 8 consecutive days.

VIRGIN ISLANDS

State law Except businesses with gross annual receipts of less than $150,000. Back to Top

$4.30

Washington Minimum Wage Rates Premium Pay After Designated Hours 2 Basic Minimum Weekly WASHINGTON Rate(per hour) Daily $9.32 40 Premium pay not applicable to employees who request compensating time off in lieu of premium pay. Beginning January 1, 2001, and annually thereafter, the rate will be adjusted for inflation by a calculation using the consumer price index for urban wage earners and clerical workers for the prior year. Back to Top

West Virginia Minimum Wage Rates Premium Pay 2 Basic Minimum After Designated Hours Rate(per hour) Daily Weekly

WEST VIRGINIA (Applicable to employers of 6 or more employees at one

$7.25

40

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location) Back to Top

Wisconsin Minimum Wage Rates Premium Pay After Designated Hours 2 Basic Minimum Rate(per hour) Daily Weekly $7.25 40

WISCONSIN Back to Top

Wyoming Minimum Wage Rates Premium Pay After Designated Hours 2 Basic Minimum Rate(per hour) Daily Weekly $5.15

WYOMING Back to Top


1

Like the Federal wage and hour law, State law often exempts particular occupations or industries from the minimum labor standard generally applied to covered employment. Particular exemptions are not identified in this table. Users are encouraged to consult the laws of particular States in determining whether the State's minimum wage applies to a particular employment. This information often may be found at the websites maintained by State labor departments. Links to these websites are available at www.dol.gov/whd/contacts/state_of.htm.

The overtime premium rate is one and one-half times the employee's regular rate, unless otherwise specified.

This document was last revised in December 2013.

Consolidated State Minimum Wage Update Table (Effective Date: 01/01/2014) Greater than Equals Federal Less than Federal MW MW of $7.25 Federal MW AK - $7.75 DE AR - $6.25 AZ - $7.90 HI GA - $5.15 CA - $8.00 IA MN - $6.15 CO - $8.00 ID WY - $5.15 CT - $8.70 IN DC - $8.25 KS No MW Required AL LA MS SC TN

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FL - $7.93 IL - $8.25 MA - $8.00 ME - $7.50 MI - $7.40 MO - $7.50 MT - $7.90 NJ - $8.25 NM - $7.50 NV - $8.25 NY - $8.00 OH - $7.95 OR - $9.10 RI - $8.00 VT - $8.73 WA - $9.32

KY MD NC ND NE NH OK PA SD TX UT VA WV WI

4 States 5 States

21 States + DC

20 states

The state minimum wage rate requirements, or lack thereof, are controlled by legislative activities within the individual states. Federal minimum wage law supersedes state minimum wage laws where the federal minimum wage is greater than the state minimum wage. In those states where the state minimum wage is greater than the federal minimum wage, the state minimum wage prevails. There are 4 states than have a minimum wage set lower than the federal minimum wage. There are 21 states (plus DC) with minimum wage rates set higher than the federal minimum wage. There are 20 states that have a minimum wage requirement that is the same as the federal minimum wage requirement. The remaining 5 states do not have an established minimum wage requirement. The State of Washington has the highest minimum wage at $9.32/hour. The states of Georgia and Wyoming have the lowest minimum wage ($5.15) of the 45 states that have a minimum wage requirement. Note: There are 10 states (AZ, CO, FL, MO, MT, NV, OH, OR, VT, and WA) that have minimum wages that are linked to a consumer price index. As a result of this linkage, the

35

minimum wages in these states are normally increased each year, generally around January 1st. The exception is Nevada which adjusts in the month of July each year. Effective January 1, 2014, 9 of the 10 states increased their respective minimum wages. The exception was Nevada. Division of Communications Wage and Hour Division U.S. Department of Labor

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StinkProgress'OddLittleGraphthatpurportstoShowWhyWe NeedToRaiseTheMinimumWage
By Andrew Breiner April 4, 2014 at 12:55 pm Updated: April 4, 2014 at 1:58 pm

"This Graph Shows Why We Need To Raise The Minimum Wage"

CREDIT: Wisconsin Jobs Now flickr account Since federal lawmakers last increased the minimum wage to $7.25 an hour in 2009, states, cities, and counties across the U.S. have taken action to raise their wages well above that level. And more states and cities are pushing for new increases. But even the highest state minimums dont surpass the $10.10 wage being backed by President Obama and Congressional Democrats, which could lift nearly 5 million Americans out of poverty, reduce the poverty rate by up to 1.7 percent, help the economy by boosting demand, all while adding very little to consumer prices.

37

CREDIT: Andrew Breiner

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The west coast states lead the nation, with Washingtons $9.32 an hour the current highest state minimum wage in the country. Californias minimum will rise to $10 an hour at the start of 2016, likely making it the new highest. Many states, including Oregon, Washington, and seven others require automatic yearly increases to their wage to keep up with inflation and rising consumer prices, meaning its less clear where theyll be in 2016. A handful of cities and counties have gone far beyond their states minimum, with SeaTac, Washingtons $15 an hour wage currently the highest anywhere in the U.S., followed by San Francisco, California at $10.74. SeaTac residents who voted to institute that $15 pay floor remain locked in a complicated battle to have their referendum enforced. But setting those outliers aside, its the bottom end of the state minimum wage graph that really makes the case for raising the federal wage. Nine states have no minimum wage or a lower minimum than the federal level. Many other states only raised their own wage to $7.25 after the federal wage hike required them to pay it anyway. These states arent likely to get caught up in the race to pay workers fairly, and will probably require federal action. $10.10 an hour would bring the minimum wage closer to where it would be if it had kept pace with inflation since the 1960s, about $10.65 an hour, according to a study from the Center for Economic Policy Research. But its nowhere near a living wage for supporting a family of four, which ranges anywhere from $17 to $25 depending where you live. And if the minimum wage had kept pace with workers productivity gains in recent decades, it would be $22.62 per hour. As the divide between worker productivity and compensation keeps growing larger, even this moderate minimum wage hike could help close the gap and revitalize a fading middle class.

TheMiddleClassIsDisappearingDespiteTheEconomicRecovery
By Alan Pyke November 18, 2013 at 2:49 pm Updated: November 18, 2013 at 2:58 pm

"The Middle Class Is Disappearing Despite The Economic Recovery"

There were nearly 700,000 fewer middle-income households since the began than during the economic crisis, according to new Census Bureau data. The economy has grown more top- and bottom-heavy in 2010 through 2012 as compared to 2007-2009, the data show.

39

Most of the erosion came at the bottom end of the middle-income range. At the same time, the ranks of both upper- and lower-income people swelled by hundreds of thousands, as this chart from the Washington Post illustrates:

The decline of the middle class and increasingly extreme distribution of income and wealth in America is a long-standing pattern that helped define the economic policy debate between the two presidential candidates in 2012. The new Census data shows that the steady, slow economic recovery of the past three years didnt arrest that slide. But middle-class shrinkage has dangerous implications for the countrys future success. A smaller middle class reduces future generations economic mobility the process of moving up the economic ladder compared to ones parents according to research by the Center for American Progress. Furthermore, the most effective policies for spurring economic growth and broad prosperity tend to be those that focus public resources on boosting the middle class. While the recoverys failure to staunch the middle-class bleeding is worrisome, it should not be surprising. The strength of the middle class is closely tied to the strength of working people states with larger and stronger unions have larger and stronger middle-class populations and working peoples rights have been under concerted attack by conservative organizations and lawmakers in recent years. The gains from the recovery have mostly accrued to the rich, who regained their lost wealth relatively quickly even as working people saw their wages decline despite ever-rising productivity.

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Whichofthe11Americannationsdoyoulivein?

ByReidWilson November8,2013at1:36pm

Red states and blue states? Flyover country and the coasts? How simplistic. Colin Woodard, a reporter at the Portland Press Herald and author of several books, says North America can be broken neatly into 11 separate nation-states, where dominant cultures explain our voting behaviors and attitudes toward everything from social issues to the role of government. The borders of my eleven American nations are reflected in many different types of maps including maps showing the distribution of linguistic dialects, the spread of cultural artifacts, the prevalence of different religious denominations, and the county-by-county breakdown of voting in virtually every hotly contested presidential race in our history, Woodard writes in the Fall 2013 issue of Tufts Universitys alumni magazine. Our continents famed mobility has been reinforcing, not dissolving, regional differences, as people increasingly sort themselves into like-minded communities. Take a look at his map:

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Courtesy Tufts Magazine Want to receive GovBeat in your inbox? Sign up here for our twice-weekly newsletter! Woodard lays out his map in the new book American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America. Heres how he breaks down the continent: Yankeedom: Founded by Puritans, residents in Northeastern states and the industrial Midwest tend to be more comfortable with government regulation. They value education and the common good more than other regions.

42

New Netherland: The Netherlands was the most sophisticated society in the Western world when New York was founded, Woodard writes, so its no wonder that the region has been a hub of global commerce. Its also the region most accepting of historically persecuted populations. The Midlands: Stretching from Quaker territory west through Iowa and into more populated areas of the Midwest, the Midlands are pluralistic and organized around the middle class. Government intrusion is unwelcome, and ethnic and ideological purity isnt a priority. Tidewater: The coastal regions in the English colonies of Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland and Delaware tend to respect authority and value tradition. Once the most powerful American nation, it began to decline during Westward expansion. Greater Appalachia: Extending from West Virginia through the Great Smoky Mountains and into Northwest Texas, the descendants of Irish, English and Scottish settlers value individual liberty. Residents are intensely suspicious of lowland aristocrats and Yankee social engineers. Deep South: Dixie still traces its roots to the caste system established by masters who tried to duplicate West Indies-style slave society, Woodard writes. The Old South values states rights and local control and fights the expansion of federal powers. El Norte: Southwest Texas and the border region is the oldest, and most linguistically different, nation in the Americas. Hard work and self-sufficiency are prized values. The Left Coast: A hybrid, Woodard says, of Appalachian independence and Yankee utopianism loosely defined by the Pacific Ocean on one side and coastal mountain ranges like the Cascades and the Sierra Nevadas on the other. The independence and innovation required of early explorers continues to manifest in places like Silicon Valley and the tech companies around Seattle. The Far West: The Great Plains and the Mountain West were built by industry, made necessary by harsh, sometimes inhospitable climates. Far Westerners are intensely libertarian and deeply distrustful of big institutions, whether they are railroads and monopolies or the federal government. New France: Former French colonies in and around New Orleans and Quebec tend toward consensus and egalitarian, among the most liberal on the continent, with unusually tolerant attitudes toward gays and people of all races and a ready acceptance of government involvement in the economy, Woodard writes.

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First Nation: The few First Nation peoples left Native Americans who never gave up their land to white settlers are mainly in the harshly Arctic north of Canada and Alaska. They have sovereignty over their lands, but their population is only around 300,000. The clashes between the 11 nations play out in every way, from politics to social values. Woodard notes that states with the highest rates of violent deaths are in the Deep South, Tidewater and Greater Appalachia, regions that value independence and self-sufficiency. States with lower rates of violent deaths are in Yankeedom, New Netherland and the Midlands, where government intervention is viewed with less skepticism. States in the Deep South are much more likely to have stand-your-ground laws than states in the northern nations. And more than 95 percent of executions in the United States since 1976 happened in the Deep South, Greater Appalachia, Tidewater and the Far West. States in Yankeedom and New Netherland have executed a collective total of just one person. That doesnt bode well for gun control advocates, Woodard concludes: With such sharp regional differences, the idea that the United States would ever reach consensus on any issue having to do with violence seems far-fetched. The cultural gulf between Appalachia and Yankeedom, Deep South and New Netherland is simply too large. But its conceivable that some new alliance could form to tip the balance.

A wr i t e up aboutt he above

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UpinArms THE BATTLE LI NES OF TODAY S DEBATES OVER GUN CONTROL,STANDYOURGROUND LAW S,AND OTHER VI OLENCERELATED I SSUES W ERE DRAW N CENTURI ES AGO BY AM ERI CA S EARLY SETTLERS BY COLI N W OODARD,A91 I LLUSTRATI ON BY BRI AN STAUFFER
Last December, when Adam Lanza stormed into the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, with a rifle and killed twenty children and six adult staff members, the United States found itself immersed in debates about gun control. Another flash point occurred this July, when George Zimmerman, who saw himself as a guardian of his community, was exonerated in the killing of an unarmed black teenager, Trayvon Martin, in Florida. That time, talk turned to stand-your-ground laws and the proper use of deadly force. The gun debate was refreshed in September by the shooting deaths of twelve people at the Washington Navy Yard, apparently at the hands of an IT contractor who was mentally ill. Such episodes remind Americans that our country as a whole is marked by staggering levels of deadly violence. Our death rate from assault is many times higher than that of highly urbanized countries like the Netherlands or Germany, sparsely populated nations with plenty of forests and game hunters like Canada, Sweden, Finland, or New Zealand, and large, populous ones like the United Kingdom, Germany, and Japan. State-sponsored violence, tooin the form of capital punishmentsets our country apart. Last year we executed more than ten times as many prisoners as other advanced industrialized nations combinednot surprising given that Japan is the only other such country that allows the practice. Our violent streak has become almost a part of our national identity. Whats less well appreciated is how much the incidence of violence, like so many salient issues in American life, varies by region. Beyond a vague awareness that supporters of violent retaliation and easy access to guns are concentrated in the states of the former Confederacy and, to a lesser extent, the western interior, most people cannot tell you much about regional differences on such matters. Our conventional way of defining regionsdividing the country along state boundaries into a Northeast, Midwest, Southeast, Southwest, and Northwestmasks the cultural lines along which attitudes toward violence fall. These lines dont respect state boundaries. To understand violence or practically any other divisive issue, you need to understand historical settlement patterns and the lasting cultural fissures they established. The original North American colonies were settled by people from distinct regions of the British Islesand from France, the Netherlands, and Spaineach with its own religious, political, and ethnographic traits. For generations, these Euro-American cultures developed in isolation from one another, consolidating their cherished religious and political principles and fundamental values, and expanding across the eastern half of the continent in nearly exclusive settlement bands. Throughout the colonial period and the Early

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Republic, they saw themselves as competitorsfor land, capital, and other settlersand even as enemies, taking opposing sides in the American Revolution, the War of 1812, and the Civil War. Theres never been an America, but rather several Americaseach a distinct nation. There are eleven nations today. Each looks at violence, as well as everything else, in its own way. The precise delineation of the eleven nationswhich I have explored at length in my latest book, American Nationsis original to me, but Im certainly not the first person to observe that such national divisions exist. Kevin Phillips, a Republican Party campaign strategist, recognized the boundaries and values of several of these nations in 1969 and used them to correctly prophesy two decades of American political development in his politico cult classic The Emerging Republican Majority. Joel Garreau, a Washington Post editor, argued that our continent was divided into rival power blocs in The Nine Nations of North America, though his ahistorical approach undermined the identification of the nations. The Pulitzer Prizewinning historian David Hackett Fischer detailed the origins and early evolution of four of these nations in his magisterial Albions Seed and later added New France. Russell Shorto described the salient characteristics of New Netherland in The Island at the Center of the World. And the list goes on. The borders of my eleven American nations are reflected in many different types of mapsincluding maps showing the distribution of linguistic dialects, the spread of cultural artifacts, the prevalence of different religious denominations, and the county-by-county breakdown of voting in virtually every hotly contested presidential race in our history. Our continents famed mobility has been reinforcing, not dissolving, regional differences, as people increasingly sort themselves into like-minded communities, a phenomenon analyzed by Bill Bishop and Robert Cushing in The Big Sort (2008). Even waves of immigrants did not fundamentally alter these nations, because the children and grandchildren of immigrants assimilated into whichever culture surrounded them. Before I describe the nations, I should underscore that my observations refer to the dominant culture, not the individual inhabitants, of each region. In every town, city, and state youll likely find a full range of political opinions and social preferences. Even in the reddest of red counties and bluest of blue ones, twenty to forty percent of voters cast ballots for the wrong team. It isnt that residents of one or another nation all think the same, but rather that they are all embedded within a cultural framework of deep-seated preferences and attitudeseach of which a person may like or hate, but has to deal with nonetheless. Because of slavery, the African American experience has been different from that of other settlers and immigrants, but it too has varied by nation, as black people confronted the dominant cultural and institutional norms of each. The nations are constituted as follows:

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YANKEEDOM. Founded on the shores of Massachusetts Bay by radical Calvinists as a new Zion, Yankeedom has, since the outset, put great emphasis on perfecting earthly civilization through social engineering, denial of self for the common good, and assimilation of outsiders. It has prized education, intellectual achievement, communal empowerment, and broad citizen participation in politics and government, the latter seen as the publics shield against the machinations of grasping aristocrats and other would-be tyrants. Since the early Puritans, it has been more comfortable with government regulation and public-sector social projects than many of the other nations, who regard the Yankee utopian streak with trepidation. NEW NETHERLAND. Established by the Dutch at a time when the Netherlands was the most sophisticated society in the Western world, New Netherland has always been a global commercial culturematerialistic, with a profound tolerance for ethnic and religious diversity and an unflinching commitment to the freedom of inquiry and conscience. Like seventeenth-century Amsterdam, it emerged

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as a center of publishing, trade, and finance, a magnet for immigrants, and a refuge for those persecuted by other regional cultures, from Sephardim in the seventeenth century to gays, feminists, and bohemians in the early twentieth. Unconcerned with great moral questions, it nonetheless has found itself in alliance with Yankeedom to defend public institutions and reject evangelical prescriptions for individual behavior. THE MIDLANDS. Americas great swing region was founded by English Quakers, who believed in humans inherent goodness and welcomed people of many nations and creeds to their utopian colonies like Pennsylvania on the shores of Delaware Bay. Pluralistic and organized around the middle class, the Midlands spawned the culture of Middle America and the Heartland, where ethnic and ideological purity have never been a priority, government has been seen as an unwelcome intrusion, and political opinion has been moderate. An ethnic mosaic from the startit had a German, rather than British, majority at the time of the Revolutionit shares the Yankee belief that society should be organized to benefit ordinary people, though it rejects top-down government intervention. TIDEWATER. Built by the younger sons of southern English gentry in the Chesapeake country and neighboring sections of Delaware and North Carolina, Tidewater was meant to reproduce the semifeudal society of the countryside theyd left behind. Standing in for the peasantry were indentured servants and, later, slaves. Tidewater places a high value on respect for authority and tradition, and very little on equality or public participation in politics. It was the most powerful of the American nations in the eighteenth century, but today it is in decline, partly because it was cut off from westward expansion by its boisterous Appalachian neighbors and, more recently, because it has been eaten away by the expanding federal halos around D.C. and Norfolk. GREATER APPALACHIA. Founded in the early eighteenth century by wave upon wave of settlers from the war-ravaged borderlands of Northern Ireland, northern England, and the Scottish lowlands, Appalachia has been lampooned by writers and screenwriters as the home of hillbillies and rednecks. It transplanted a culture formed in a state of near constant danger and upheaval, characterized by a warrior ethic and a commitment to personal sovereignty and individual liberty. Intensely suspicious of lowland aristocrats and Yankee social engineers alike, Greater Appalachia has shifted alliances depending on who appeared to be the greatest threat to their freedom. It was with the Union in the Civil War. Since Reconstruction, and especially since the upheavals of the 1960s, it has joined with Deep South to counter federal overrides of local preference. DEEP SOUTH. Established by English slave lords from Barbados, Deep South was meant as a West Indiesstyle slave society. This nation offered a version of classical Republicanism modeled on the slave states of the ancient world, where democracy was the privilege of the few and enslavement the natural lot of the many. Its caste systems smashed by outside intervention, it continues to fight against expanded federal powers, taxes on capital and the wealthy, and environmental, labor, and consumer regulations.

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EL NORTE. The oldest of the American nations, El Norte consists of the borderlands of the Spanish American empire, which were so far from the seats of power in Mexico City and Madrid that they evolved their own characteristics. Most Americans are aware of El Norte as a place apart, where Hispanic language, culture, and societal norms dominate. But few realize that among Mexicans, norteos have a reputation for being exceptionally independent, self-sufficient, adaptable, and focused on work. Long a hotbed of democratic reform and revolutionary settlement, the region encompasses parts of Mexico that have tried to secede in order to form independent buffer states between their mother country and the United States. THE LEFT COAST. A Chile-shaped nation wedged between the Pacific Ocean and the Cascade and Coast mountains, the Left Coast was originally colonized by two groups: New Englanders (merchants, missionaries, and woodsmen who arrived by sea and dominated the towns) and Appalachian midwesterners (farmers, prospectors, and fur traders who generally arrived by wagon and controlled the countryside). Yankee missionaries tried to make it a New England on the Pacific, but were only partially successful. Left Coast culture is a hybrid of Yankee utopianism and Appalachian self-expression and explorationtraits recognizable in its cultural production, from the Summer of Love to the iPad. The staunchest ally of Yankeedom, it clashes with Far Western sections in the interior of its home states. THE FAR WEST. The other second-generation nation, the Far West occupies the one part of the continent shaped more by environmental factors than ethnographic ones. High, dry, and remote, the Far West stopped migrating easterners in their tracks, and most of it could be made habitable only with the deployment of vast industrial resources: railroads, heavy mining equipment, ore smelters, dams, and irrigation systems. As a result, settlement was largely directed by corporations headquartered in distant New York, Boston, Chicago, or San Francisco, or by the federal government, which controlled much of the land. The Far Wests people are often resentful of their dependent status, feeling that they have been exploited as an internal colony for the benefit of the seaboard nations. Their senators led the fight against trusts in the mid-twentieth century. Of late, Far Westerners have focused their anger on the federal government, rather than their corporate masters. NEW FRANCE. Occupying the New Orleans area and southeastern Canada, New France blends the folkways of ancien rgime northern French peasantry with the traditions and values of the aboriginal people they encountered in northeastern North America. After a long history of imperial oppression, its people have emerged as down-to-earth, egalitarian, and consensus driven, among the most liberal on the continent, with unusually tolerant attitudes toward gays and people of all races and a ready acceptance of government involvement in the economy. The New French influence is manifest in Canada, where multiculturalism and negotiated consensus are treasured. FIRST NATION. First Nation is populated by native American groups that generally never gave up their land by treaty and have largely retained cultural practices and knowledge that allow them to survive in this hostile region on their own terms. The nation is

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now reclaiming its sovereignty, having won considerable autonomy in Alaska and Nunavut and a self-governing nation state in Greenland that stands on the threshold of full independence. Its territory is hugefar larger than the continental United Statesbut its population is less than 300,000, most of whom live in Canada. If you understand the United States as a patchwork of separate nations, each with its own origins and prevailing values, you would hardly expect attitudes toward violence to be uniformly distributed. You would instead be prepared to discover that some parts of the country experience more violence, have a greater tolerance for violent solutions to conflict, and are more protective of the instruments of violence than other parts of the country. That is exactly what the data on violence reveal about the modern United States. Most scholarly research on violence has collected data at the state level, rather than the county level (where the boundaries of the eleven nations are delineated). Still, the trends are clear. The same handful of nations show up again and again at the top and the bottom of state-level figures on deadly violence, capital punishment, and promotion of gun ownership. Consider assault deaths. Kieran Healy, a Duke University sociologist, broke down the per capita, age-adjusted deadly assault rate for 2010. In the northeastern statesalmost entirely dominated by Yankeedom, New Netherland, and the Midlandsjust over 4 people per 100,000 died in assaults. By contrast, southern stateslargely monopolized by Deep South, Tidewater, and Greater Appalachia had a rate of more than 7 per 100,000. The three deadliest statesLouisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, where the rate of killings topped 10 per 100,000were all in Deep South territory. Meanwhile, the three safest statesNew Hampshire, Maine, and Minnesota, with rates of about 2 killings per 100,000were all part of Yankeedom. Not surprisingly, black Americans have it worse than whites. Countrywide, according to Healy, blacks die from assaults at the bewildering rate of about 20 per 100,000, while the rate for whites is less than 6. But does that mean racial differences might be skewing the homicide data for nations with larger African-American populations? Apparently not. A classic 1993 study by the social psychologist Richard Nisbett, of the University of Michigan, found that homicide rates in small predominantly white cities were three times higher in the South than in New England. Nisbett and a colleague, Andrew Reaves, went on to show that southern rural counties had white homicide rates more than four times those of counties in New England, Middle Atlantic, and Midwestern states. Stand-your-ground laws are another dividing line between American nations. Such laws waive a citizens duty to try and retreat from a threatening individual before killing the person. Of the twenty-three states to pass stand-your-ground laws, only one, New Hampshire, is part of Yankeedom, and only one, Illinois, is in the Midlands. By contrast, each of the six Deep Southdominated states has passed such a law, and almost all the other states with similar laws are in the Far West or Greater Appalachia.

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Comparable schisms show up in the gun control debate. In 2011, after the mass shooting of U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords and eighteen others in Tucson, the Pew Research Center asked Americans what was more important, protecting gun ownership or controlling it. The Yankee states of New England went for gun control by a margin of sixty-one to thirty-six, while those in the polls southeast central regionthe Deep South states of Alabama and Mississippi and the Appalachian states of Tennessee and Kentuckysupported gun rights by exactly the same margin. Far Western states backed gun rights by a proportion of fifty-nine to thirty-eight. Another revealing moment came this past April, in the wake of the Newtown school massacre, when the U.S. Senate failed to pass a bill to close loopholes in federal background checks for would-be gun owners. In the six states dominated by Deep South, the vote was twelve to two against the measure, and most of the Far West and Appalachia followed suit. But Yankee New England voted eleven to one in favor, and the dissenting vote, from Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, was so unpopular in her home state that it caused an immediate dip in her approval rating. The pattern for capital punishment laws is equally stark. The states dominated by Deep South, Greater Appalachia, Tidewater, and the Far West have had a virtual monopoly on capital punishment. They account for more than ninety-five percent of the 1,343 executions in the United States since 1976. In the same period, the twelve states definitively controlled by Yankeedom and New Netherland states that account for almost a quarter of the U.S. populationhave executed just one person. Why is violencestate-sponsored and otherwiseso much more prevalent in some American nations than in others? It all goes back to who settled those regions and where they came from. Nisbett, the social psychologist, noted that regions initially settled by sober Puritans, Quakers, and Dutch farmer-artisansthat is, Yankeedom, the Midlands, and New Netherlandwere organized around a yeoman agricultural economy that rewarded quiet, cooperative citizenship, with each individual being capable of uniting for the common good. The Southand by this he meant the nations I call Tidewater and Deep Southwas settled by swashbuckling Cavaliers of noble or landed gentry status, who took their values . . . from the knightly, medieval standards of manly honor and virtue. Continuing to treat the South as a single entity, Nisbett argued that the violent streak in the culture the Cavaliers established was intensified by the major subsequent wave of immigration . . . from the borderlands of Scotland and Ireland. These immigrants, who populated what I call Greater Appalachia, came from an economy based on herding, which, as anthropologists have shown, predisposes people to belligerent stances because the animals on which their wealth depends are so vulnerable to theft. Drawing on the work of the historian David Hackett Fisher, Nisbett maintained that southern violence stems partly from a culture-of-honor tradition, in which males are raised to create reputations for ferocityas a deterrent to rustlingrather than relying on official legal intervention.

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More recently, researchers have begun to probe beyond state boundaries to distinguish among different cultural streams. Robert Baller of the University of Iowa and two colleagues looked at late-twentieth-century white male argument-related homicide rates, comparing those in counties that, in 1850, were dominated by Scots-Irish settlers with those in other parts of the Old South. In other words, they teased out the rates at which white men killed each other in feuds and compared those for Greater Appalachia with those for Deep South and Tidewater. The result: Appalachian areas had significantly higher homicide rates than their lowland neighbors findings [that] are supportive of theoretical claims about the role of herding as the ecological underpinning of a code of honor. Another researcher, Pauline Grosjean, an economist at Australias University of New South Wales, found strong statistical relationships between the presence of Scots-Irish settlers in the 1790 census and contemporary homicide rates, but only in southern areas where the institutional environment was weakwhich is the case in almost the entirety of Greater Appalachia. She further noted that in areas where Scots-Irish were dominant, settlers of other ethnic originsDutch, French, and Germanwere also more violent, suggesting that they had acculturated to Appalachian norms. But its not just herding that promoted a culture of violence. Scholars have long recognized that cultures organized around slavery rely on violence to control, punish, and terrorizewhich no doubt helps explain the erstwhile prevalence of lynching deaths in Deep South and Tidewater. But it is also significant that both these nations, along with Greater Appalachia, follow religious traditions that sanction eye-for-an-eye justice, and adhere to secular codes that emphasize personal honor and shun governmental authority. As a result, their members have fewer qualms about rushing to lethal judgments. The code of Yankeedom could not have been more different. Its founders promoted self-doubt and self-restraint, and their Unitarian and Congregational spiritual descendants believed vengeance would not receive the approval of an all-knowing God. This nation was the center of the nineteenth-century death penalty reform movement, which began eliminating capital punishment for burglary, robbery, sodomy, and other nonlethal crimes. None of the states controlled by Yankeedom or New Netherland retain the death penalty today, with the exception of New Hampshire, where the penalty is rarely imposed (the last execution took place in 1939). With such sharp regional differences, the idea that the United States would ever reach consensus on any issue having to do with violence seems far-fetched. The cultural gulf between Appalachia and Yankeedom, Deep South and New Netherland is simply too large. But its conceivable that some new alliance could form to tip the balance. Among the eleven regional cultures, there are two superpowers, nations with the identity, mission, and numbers to shape continental debate: Yankeedom and Deep South. For more than two hundred years, theyve fought for control of the federal government and, in a sense, the nations soul. Over the decades, Deep South has become strongly allied with Greater Appalachia and Tidewater, and more tenuously with the Far West. Their combined agendato slash taxes, regulations, social services, and federal powersis opposed by

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a Yankee-led bloc that includes New Netherland and the Left Coast. Other nations, especially the Midlands and El Norte, often hold the swing vote, whether in a presidential election or a congressional battle over health care reform. Those swing nations stand to play a decisive role on violence-related issues as well. For now, the country will remain split on how best to make its citizens safer, with Deep South and its allies bent on deterrence through armament and the threat of capital punishment, and Yankeedom and its allies determined to bring peace through constraints such as gun control. The deadlock will persist until one of these camps modifies its message and policy platform to draw in the swing nations. Only then can that camp seize full control over the levers of federal powerthe White House, the House, and a filibuster-proof Senate majorityto force its will on the opposing nations. Until then, expect continuing frustration and division. Colin Woodard, A91, is the author of American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America. An earlier book, The Republic of Pirates, is the basis of the forthcoming NBC drama Crossbones. He is currently state and national affairs writer at the Portland Press Herald and Maine Sunday Telegram, where he won a George Polk Award this year for his investigative reporting.

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iSenateGOPblocksDemocrats'electionyearminimumwageboost,derailinganObama

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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev. talks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, April 29, 2014, as Congress returns from a two week recess. A long-shot Senate Democratic effort to raise the federal minimum wage seems doomed without needed votes to overcome a procedural blockade by most Republican senators, who say the measure would be too costly for employers. (AP Photo)

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Associ at ed Pr ess Apr i l30,2014

By ALAN FRAM, Ass Press WASHINGTON (AP) Senate Republicans blocked an election-year Democratic bill on Wednesday that would boost the federal minimum wage, handing a defeat to President Barack Obama on a vote that is sure to reverberate in this year's congressional elections. The measure's rejection, which was expected, came in the early months of a campaign season in which the slowly recovering economy and its impact on families is a marquee issue. It was also the latest setback for a stream of bills this year that Democrats have designed to cast themselves as the party of economic fairness. The legislation by Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, would gradually raise the $7.25 hourly minimum to $10.10 over 30 months and then provide automatic annual increases to account for inflation. Democrats argue that if fully phased in by 2016, it would push a family of three above the federal poverty line a level such earners have not surpassed since 1979. "Millions of American workers will be watching how each senator votes today. To them, it's a matter of survival," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said before the vote. He pointedly added, "For Republicans, this vote will demonstrate whether they truly care about our economy." Republicans, solidly against the Democratic proposal, say it would be too expensive for employers and cost jobs. As ammunition, they cite a February study by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office that estimated the increase to $10.10 could eliminate about 500,000 jobs but also envisioned higher income for 16.5 million low-earning people. "Washington Democrats' true focus these days seems to be making the far left happy, not helping the middle class," said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. "This is all about politics," said No. 2 Senate GOP leader John Cornyn of Texas. "This is about trying to make this side of the aisle look bad and hard-hearted."

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The vote was 54-42 in favor of allowing debate on the measure to proceed, six votes short of the 60 that Democrats needed to prevail. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., was the only Republican to cross party lines and vote "yes." Reid switched his vote to "no," which gives him the right to call another vote on the measure. No other Democrats opposed the bill. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, who has been seeking a deal with other senators on a lower figure than $10.10, said Wednesday that she will continue that effort. Maine Sen. Angus King, an independent who usually sides with Democrats, said he too favors finding middle ground. But Democratic leaders have shown no inclination to do that a view shared by unions that favor an increase and business groups that oppose one. "We're not going to compromise on $10.10," Reid told reporters after the vote. In a clear sign of the political value Democrats believe the issue has, Democrats said they intend to force another vote on the increase closer to this year's elections. The White House issued a statement urging the bill's passage and saying the administration wants legislation "to build real, lasting economic security for the middle class and create more opportunities for every hardworking American to get ahead." Supporters note that the minimum wage's buying power has fallen. It reached its peak value in 1968, when it was $1.60 hourly but was worth $10.86 in today's dollars. The legislation is opposed by business groups including the National Council of Chain Restaurants and the International Franchise Association. The National Restaurant Association has hundreds of members at the Capitol this week lobbying lawmakers on several issues, including opposition to a higher minimum wage. Also opposed were conservative organizations including Heritage Action and Americans for Prosperity, which is backed by Charles and David Koch. The billionaire brothers are spending millions this year to unseat congressional Democrats, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and his allies are casting them as unfettered villains.

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Other Democratic bills that have splattered against GOP roadblocks this year would restore expired benefits for the long-term unemployed and pressure employers to pay men and women equally. Democrats plan future votes on bills easing the costs of college and child care. Opposition from Republicans running the House makes it unlikely that chamber would debate minimum wage legislation this year. According to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, about two-thirds of the 3.3 million people who earned $7.25 an hour or less last year worked in service jobs, mostly food preparation and serving. More than 6 in 10 of those making $7.25 or under were women, and about half were under age 25. Democrats hope their support for a minimum wage boost will draw voters from both groups who usually lean Democratic to the polls in November, when Senate control will be at stake. The GOP's hold on the House is not in doubt. Harkin's bill would also gradually increase the minimum wage for tipped workers like waiters to 70 percent of the minimum for most other workers. It is currently $2.13 hourly, which can be paid as long as their hourly earnings with tips total at least $7.25. The minimum wage was first enacted in 1938 and set at 25 cents. Congress has passed nine laws slowly increasing it, including one each decade since the 1980s. The minimum has been $7.25 since 2009. ___ Ass Press writer Matt Daly contributed to this story. Copyright 2014 The Ass Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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