Should voters in the five states considering minimum wage increases today approve those measures, more than half of U.S. states, along with the District of Columbia, will have minimum wages higher than the federal floor. The proposals range from $8.50 per hour in Arkansas and South Dakota to $10.65 in Illinois’ non-binding ballot initiative. In the middle are Nebraska–where voters could raise the minimum wage to $9.00 an hour–and Alaska, at $9.75.
Those ballot measures can be interpreted as frustration with Congress’w inaction on the issue, especially since four of the five states "lean conservative," write Emily Graham and Christopher Ingraham at the Washington Post.
It’s not just statewide ballot initiatives on the line. Nine counties in Wisconsin are considering a boost to $10.10 per hour via non-binding referenda, and three counties in California–Eureka, Oakland, and San Francisco–could raise the minimum wage in those counties all the way to $15 per hour, according to the National Employment Law Project. The national conversation about low-wage work and the minimum wage is moving along, whether Congress can handle it or not.