And so we come to the final non-person item on the statewide ballot, the question of the minimum wage. Here’s the summary and the brief description:
An initiated measure to increase the state minimum wage.
The initiated measure amends state law to raise South Dakota’s hourly minimum wage for non-tipped employees from $7.25 to $8.50 per hour, effective January 1, 2015. Thereafter, this minimum wage will be annually adjusted by any increase in the cost of living. The cost of living increase is measured by the change in the Consumer Price Index published by the U.S. Department of Labor. In no case may the minimum wage be decreased.
In addition, the hourly minimum wage for tipped employees will be half the minimum wage for non-tipped employees as adjusted by any cost of living increase described above.
These increases would apply to all employers in South Dakota, with limited exceptions.
The full text of the measure is extensive, but I’ll include it here for completeness. It is as follows:
FOR AN ACT ENTITLED, “An Act to increase the state minimum wage and to provide for future cost of living increases.”
BE IT ENACTED BY THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA:
Section 1. That § 60-11-3 be amended to read as follows:
60-11-3. Every employer shall pay to each employee wages at a rate of not less than
seven eight dollars and twenty-five fifty cents an hour. Violation of this section is a Class 2 misdemeanor.
The provisions of this section do not apply to certain employees being paid an opportunity wage pursuant to § 60-11-4.1, babysitters, or outside salespersons. The provisions of this section also do not apply to employees employed by an amusement or recreational establishment, and organized camp, or a religious or nonprofit educational conference center if one of the following apply:
(1) The establishment, camp, or center does not operate for more than seven months in any calendar year; or(2) During the preceding calendar year, the average receipts of the establishment, camp, or center for any six months of the calendar year were not more than thirty-three and one-third percent of its average receipts for the other six months of the year.Section 2. That § 60-11-3.1 be amended to read as follows:
60-11-3.1. Any employer of a tipped employee shall pay a cash wage of not less than
two dollars and thirteen cents an hourfifty percent of the minimum wage provided by § 60-11-3 if the employer claims a tip credit against the employer’s minimum wage obligation. If an employee’s tips combined with the employer’s cash wage of not less than two dollars and thirteen cents an hourfifty percent of the minimum wage provided by § 60-11-3 do not equal the minimum hourlywage, the employer shall make up the difference as additional wages for each regular pay period of the employer.
A tipped employee is one engaged in an occupation in which the employee customarily and regularly receives more than thirty-five dollars a month in tips or other considerations.
This section does not apply to babysitters or outside salespersons. This section also does not apply to employees employed by an amusement or recreational establishment, an organized camp, or a religious or nonprofit educational conference center if one of the following apply:
(1) The establishment, camp, or center does not operate for more than seven months in any calendar year; or(2) During the preceding calendar year, the average receipts of the establishment, camp, or center for any six months of the calendar year were not more than thirty-three and one-third percent of its average receipts for the other six months of the year.Section 3. That chapter 60-11 be amended by adding thereto a NEW SECTION to read as follows:
Beginning January 1, 2016, and again on January 1 of each year thereafter, the minimum wage provided by § 60-11-3 shall be adjusted by the increase, if any, in the cost of living. The increase in the cost of living shall be measured by the percentage increase as of August of the immediately preceding year over the level as measured as of August of the previous year of the Consumer Price Index (all urban consumers, U.S. city average for all items) or its successor index as published by the U.S. Department of Labor or its successor agency, with the amount of the minimum wage increase, if any, rounded up to the nearest five cents. In no case shall the minimum wage be decreased. The Secretary of the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation or its designee shall publish the adjusted minimum wage rate for the forthcoming year on its internet home page by October 15 of each year, and it shall become effective on January 1 of the forthcoming year.
Section 4. The provisions of Section 1 and Section 2 of this Act are effective January 1, 2015.
Bottom line? If you believe that raising the minimum wage is a good thing then this measure was built for you. If, on the other hand, you understand that the principles of economic reality are but briefly thwarted by even having a minimum wage, let alone raising it, then you would find this measure to be one which deserves a minimum of attention at the voting booth.
Among the measure’s most negative components is the one which ties an increase in the minimum wage to inflation. In the real world, I and many others, are guaranteed no such thing with our wages (above minimum though they be). If one thinks this is a good idea (to index the wage to inflation), then it follows that everyone’s wage should be so indexed, eh? Look at all the extra money we can all have.
I shall be going with a “No” on Initiated Measure 18. More information may be acquired for a minimum amount of effort at Ballotpedia.