Polk Co. finalized minimum wage proposal

The meeting was held on Thursday afternoon

By Claire Powell | cpowell@weareiowa.com

Published 08/25 2016 05:35PM

Updated 08/25 2016 05:35PM

DES MOINES- The Polk County Minimum Wage Task Force has finalized its' proposal.

After numerous meetings since spring, the proposal was finalized on Thursday afternoon. 

The board is suggesting an increased minimum wage of $10.75 an hour for adults by 2019. If approved by the Polk County Board of Supervisors, the increase would begin next April.

The board also debated a youth minimum wage on Thursday. 

The board voted 10-2 to pay 14-17 year olds fifteen percent less than the suggested increased minimum wage for adults. The increase would be $7.44- $9.80 over a three year period. 

The youth wage is also being practiced in states like Minnesota and Nebraska. 

"The concern is there is an incentive that we're hurting the people we're trying to help."

Some of the public's comments were praising the board and the others were in opposition. 

"This a step in the right direction and a bold step," said one man. 
John Noble read a statement from his friend, a senior at Waukee High School, who couldn't attend the meeting because of school.
"I had to send a message through others. Whomever scheduled this meeting forgot one thing: those who are affected are actually in school," read Noble. 
The task force hopes to have the proposal to the Polk County Board of Supervisors by October. If that date holds, then cities can opt out or join the wage increase by April 1, 2017. 

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