Gov. Holcomb Insults Essential Workers, Calls Minimum Wage Jobs a “Minimum Expectation”


Holcomb on raising the state’s minimum wage: “What I don’t want people to be caught up in is tethered to some appeal to a minimum expectation of anything in their life”

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INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Democratic Party, the organization that advocates for the future of Indiana and its families, today criticized Governor Eric Holcomb for issuing an insult against some of Indiana’s essential workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic by dismissing state legislation to increase the minimum wage. Responding to State Senator Eddie Melton’s call to increase the state’s minimum wage initially to $10.00 an hour, Holcomb claimed Hoosiers working minimum-wage jobs and the working class may have “appealed to a minimum expectation” with their lives. 

Here’s what Governor Holcomb said: 

What I don’t want people to be caught up in is tethered to some appeal to a minimum expectation of anything in their life. Especially while we have resources here to help folks with the opportunities that are out there now.” […]

“I don’t want folks to feel they only have one option, and it’s a minimum expectation. I want people to strive for the maximum.” – NWI Times, 1.10.21

Countless media stories have put a spotlight to the fact that many workers deemed essential during the COVID-19 pandemic earn a minimum wage. In fact, many essential workers still find themselves requesting SNAP benefits in order to make ends meet. An increase to their wages would help many Hoosier families survive during what has been some uncertain times. 

“Hoosiers are struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic, and many workers are clocking in overtime at their essential jobs to provide for their families — all while facing the prospect of contracting the coronavirus,” said Lauren Ganapini, executive director for the Indiana Democratic Party. “Governor Holcomb owes essential workers an apology for even suggesting they are bringing a ‘minimum expectation’ to their livelihoods. Workers can’t even trust on getting support from the governor without receiving backhanded criticism. Hoosiers need an increase to the minimum wage now, not after the pandemic.” 


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