Issue 5 would help 300,000 Arkansans—a quarter of the state’s workforce— by gradually raising the minimum wage from $8.50 to $11 an hour by 2021. Whether you’re an employee, an employer, or just someone who wants to benefit from a thriving economy, there’s a reason for you to vote for Issue 5:
1. The $8.50 an hour minimum wage has not kept up with the rising costs of housing, groceries, and other basics, making it near impossible for working families to make ends meet.
2. Issue 5 would put hundreds of millions back into small businesses and the state economy. Raising the wage would increase consumer spending, as the workers who receive a wage increase are likely to spend their extra earnings locally on goods and services they couldn’t previously afford.
3. Business owners and executives overwhelmingly support raising the minimum wage. A 2016 survey, conducted by Republican pollster Frank Luntz’s firm, found that 80% of business executives supported raising their state’s minimum wage. (Only 8% opposed it. The remaining 12% were neutral.)
4. One in four children live in a low-income family. At $8.50 an hour, hundreds of thousands of parents all across Arkansas work full-time but make less than $18,000 a year—not nearly enough to provide for themselves or their families.
5. Over two decades of economic research show that raising the minimum wage does not hurt employment, but helps it: higher wages result in lower employee turnover and increased productivity.
Issue 5 is crucial for small businesses, families, and the state economy. By voting for Issue 5, you’re supporting the entire Arkansas community.