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June 20, 2016

Study Finds Majority of Iowans Believe Minimum Wage Should be Set by State Legislature

June 20, 2016
For Immediate Release

Study Finds Majority of Iowans Believe Minimum Wage Should be Set by State Legislature

June 20, 2016, (Des Moines, IA) — When given the choice between the state legislators or local leaders, 60 percent of Iowa residents say the state legislature is the best place to decide minimum wage policy for Iowa. Forty percent say local leaders should be allowed to set minimum wage policy for their own community, that according to a study conducted by ORC International.

The survey was fielded as part of an online omnibus study conducted the week of June 7th among a demographically representative sample of 501 adults ages 18 or older, comprising of 251 males and 250 females living in the state of Iowa.

“The results are not surprising,” said Jessica Dunker, president and CEO of the Iowa Restaurant Association, a non-profit trade association which works with restaurants across the state. “People understand the potential complications created by a piecemeal wage strategy. If 99 counties set 99 wages and then municipalities opt out or set their own, no one—employees or employers— are well served.”

Dunker, who sits on the Polk County Minimum Wage Task Force, has been a vocal proponent for having the state step in on the various local wage initiatives since the Johnson County Board of Supervisors created a county-specific minimum wage last year.

The survey also found that when given the choice between having a single minimum wage for Iowa or allowing the minimum wage to vary by community, 66 percent of residents say there should only be a single minimum wage for Iowa, while 34 percent think the minimum wage should be allowed to vary by community.

“Wage issues are complicated,” said Dunker. “We see a lot of information published about what people need if they’re the head of a household, but we can’t make wage decisions without thinking about first time job seekers, seasonal workers, tipped employees and more. Issues that impact this many people, must be looked at in a comprehensive way and the state level is the appropriate place to do it.”

The study found that the percentage of adults who felt that minimum wage should be determined at the state level varied very little among most demographic groups. For a detailed breakdown of the study, please contact the Iowa Restaurant Association at 515-276-1454.

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Media Contact: Katelyn Kostek Public Relations Specialist 515-276-1454

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