FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) – The Public Policy Polling group recently released a series of polls that surveyed Arkansans’ stance on issues facing The Natural State.
A recently proposed initiative would increase the current minimum wage of $6.25 in Arkansas to $8.50 by 2017.
“For a lot of people, 6.25 an hour doesn’t cut it,” Nick Futch said.
According to the poll, many believe the state should increase the minimum wage, with 63% for, and 29% against.
“I think $6.25 is pretty hard for anyone to make ends meet on. I think it is important to support the middle class and bring people into that, and give them an opportunity,” Tom Andersen said.
Businesses who make less than $500,000 a year can legally pay their employees $6.25 an hour, which is less than the federal minimum wage of $7.25.
“If your employees are underpaid, they’re not going to be incentivized, they’re not going to get as much done as employees who are paid a higher minimum wage,” Futch said.
Some say they can understand why many would not want to change the state`s current minimum wage.
“A minimum wage is a good thing for people to adhere to,” Andersen said.
Some even suggest that small businesses would take the biggest hit if the minimum wage was increased.
“I think that people are concerned for small businesses, it’ll be hard for them to afford that,” Andersen said.
Some say they can understand why some business owners are opposed to the raise.
“Inflation, or a number of reasons. They could say it’s a lack of incentive for people to work,” Futch said.
A majority says they still believe the poll is accurate, that the state heavily believes the minimum wage needs to increase to at least the federal limit.
“Even 7.25 isn’t enough to live off of,” Dustin Osborne said. “Especially if you have a family, there’s no possible way you can live off of that.”
According to Public Policy Polling, democrats heavily favor a minimum wage hike with 90% in favor, and 4% opposed.
Republicans are fairly split on the issue, with 42% in favor, and 48% against.