Portage County voters favor minimum wage raise
Written by B.C. Kowalski, Stevens Point Journal
STEVENS POINT – Portage County voters overwhelmingly favored raising the minimum wage in a non-binding referendum on Tuesday's ballot.
With all 47 precincts reporting, 17,130 voters said they favored raising the state minimum wage, compared with 12,423 who opposed a raise.
The Portage County Board in August approved a measure that put on the November ballot the question: "Should the state of Wisconsin increase the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour?" The minimum wage in Wisconsin is $7.25 and hasn't changed since 2009.
The county's Finance Committee recommended the referendum after roughly 600 residents signed a petition asking the county to add the question to the November ballot.
The final referendum question was a modified version of the original version. The County Board removed: "powerful corporations actively use their influence to hold down wages and benefits, creating economy-busting jobs rather than economy-boosting jobs."
State Rep. Katrina Shankland has said she will take the results of the referendum as a guide to how she will vote in Madison on the issue in the next legislative session.
"The results of both referendums confirm what I've been hearing from constituents for the last two years," Shankland said. "This isn't a partisan issue, this is a person issue."
Should the state of Wisconsin increase the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour?
Yes: 17,130 votes
No: 12,423 votes
* 45 of 47 precincts tabulated