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Workers rally against controversial wage bill

LINCOLN, Nebraska (Nebraska) — Taking a Step Back was the theme at the Belmont Community Center on Saturday.

This is what organizers against LB327, which was merged with lb15 in committee, say the bill will keep the minimum wage at $10.50 for workers aged 14 to 17.

“This bill directly affects me,” said 16-year-old Sam Washburn.

Washburn is a junior employee at Papillion La Vista in the service industry. He said he was not particularly political until he learned about the bill.

“When nearly 60% of Nebraskas voted for the 455 Initiative and then saw it directly impacted me and subordinate interns to set lower wages below the minimum wage,” he said. “It’s outrageous”.

The bill will also limit future increases in the minimum wage, which should rise with inflation after reaching $15 an hour in 2026. This bill will limit this growth to 1.5%.

“Whenever we vote to pay someone more, offer people more money, or take money away from someone, we are showing our value to those people,” said Rev. Zach Wolfe, who is chairman of the Nebraska Poor People’s Campaign.

State Senator Jane Raybould, who recently prioritized LB327, said the bill aims to balance the growth achieved by voters and the interests of small and medium businesses.

Washburn said that no matter what happens on the floor of the legislature this session, he plans to keep fighting, doing his best to protect himself and his colleagues.

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