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Louisiana Governor Renews Push For Minimum Wage, Equal Pay – Biz New Orleans – March 2018

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Gov. John Bel Edwards is trying for a third year to persuade Louisiana lawmakers to enact equal pay and minimum wage increase proposals, and the bills began advancing Thursday in the Senate.

The Democratic governor appeared personally in the Senate labor committee, which sent the measures to the full Senate for consideration.

“These are small steps, but they’re going to make a big difference. These ought to be easy,” Edwards said. “I will never give up until we actually do it.”

The outcome of Thursday’s committee hearing wasn’t a surprise. The majority-Democratic panel has approved similar measures in Edwards’ first two years in office only to see the proposals hit roadblocks later.

The measures continue to face tough hurdles to passage in a majority-Republican Legislature that has sided with business lobbying groups that oppose the bills.

The proposals would:

—Raise Louisiana’s minimum wage from the $7.25-per-hour federal level to $8 per hour in 2019 and $8.50 a year later, or let voters decide whether to enact the same wage hike through a constitutional change. The bills sponsored by New Orleans Sen. Troy Carter, a Democrat, passed on party-line votes, with four Democrats in support and three Republicans in opposition.

—Extend an equal pay law that bans state agencies from paying unequal wages to employees of different genders for the same job to cover any business that gets a state contract. The committee advanced the proposal by New Orleans Sen. J.P. Morrell, a Democrat, without objection.

Prohibit employers from taking action against workers who talk about their pay. The bill, also by Morrell, won committee passage with a 6-1 vote. Chairman Neil Riser, a Republican from Columbia, was the lone opponent.

Twenty-nine states have minimum wages above the federal level, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

-by AP reporter Melinda Deslatte

 

Source: Louisiana Governor Renews Push For Minimum Wage, Equal Pay – Biz New Orleans – March 2018

A native of New Orleans, who left her beloved New Orleans to spend twenty years of living in the land of Minnesota Not So Nice. Minnesota was full of opportunities but would learn that the soul of the state and the people who made it was just as icy cold as the temperatures. After the years and my 40th birthday flew by, I decided it was time to pack up my youngest child and come back to my roots, my birthplace the city that not only birthed me but gave me life. I would not be who I am without my New Orleans beginnings. I am all things that would challenge the belief of growing up in New Orleans. I was a 16yr old teen mother of a premature baby born with a severe medical disability. And only With the help of my mother, was it possible for me to BE! I was able to endure and survive the obstacles laid before my child and me. In a city that was built by my family, but did not allow for us to reap the benefits I overcame. Charity Hospital was my second home — a building filled with miracle workers who made it possible for my daughter to have life. I have lived a life of rainy days with peeks of sunshine, that are my children, including those not of my womb. I'm the proud mother of three and a grandmother of three. My dream was to live the life of the nursery rhyme of ”The Old Lady Who lived in a shoe,” and for the most part, I did. I cared for several children over the years as a special needs foster parent. I would learn that my love was not enough for some children, but I loved them through their pain. I'm not sure if I ever had a case of true love or came close to what love looks like on television, but I had my share of men and the mirage of love. I survived two abusive marriages. Though I longed to return to New Orleans on a daily bases, I must admit my move was one of the best decisions made for me. I am a college graduate; I was a successful entrepreneur. I coowned a soul food restaurant and catering company in Minnesota for 12 years. I developed the talent of creating custom cakes after the murder of my beloved cousin Melvin Paul. He survived Katrina only to go to Minneapolis six months later to be murdered over a parking spot dispute. But with the challenge of creating a simple wedding cake, I was able to find healing. I created the House of Cakes in honor of him. Minnesota life had me pretty materialistic. I worked to the point I do not remember much, but work and handing my children love money. I thought by having the big house on the hill, a husband, having a family, the ultimate provider and being involved in all things that matter, plus having the funds to match would cure me of what I was told was a generational curse of lack of everything from money, love to even self-love. But for the most part, that life poisoned my heart and soul. I was blinded by visions fed to me by the media. I was told I wasn't anything unless I was better than the Jones's. I lived being ok with a broken, bleeding heart. Life like this did not exist in my family while living in New Orleans from what I viewed with my eyes and soul. We may not have had all the things I acquired over the years, but we were happy, we were together. Family outside of New Orleans wasn't family anymore. We lived separate lives and had awkward moments when we bumped into each other in public. I hated living in Minnesota even though life their helped me in so many ways. I felt deep down the only way to repair it was to get back to my roots, my soul, my home, myself, my New Orleans. I'm here, and I love it. Even being in the so-called Blighted Area of New Orleans and not having all the financial and material security, I'm happy. I am determined that She, yes, New Orleans is a woman is just like me; together, we will overcome and will rise from all that tried to kill our spirit. Nothing like starting from the bottom and making your way back up!. I just know in my heart that New Orleans will provide for me. There's a bank account with funds in it owed to me by way of back pay for my ancestors. And I will receive my inheritance, and I will continue the traditions and customs of the old to keep the heartbeat of New Orleans beating. I'm down in the boot, living the life that feels right to me awaiting my destiny...

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