INDIANAPOLIS (WANE) – State Senator Eddie Melton (D-Gary) has proposed a bill to raise Indiana’s minimum wage to $10 per hour.

The Hoosier state’s minimum wage currently is set at $7.25 and has not been changed since 2009. Sen. Melton told WANE 15’s Briana Brownlee that the state’s cost of living has increased by 20% since 2009.

For 2021, 20 states across the nation increased it’s minimum wage, including the Hoosier state’s neighbors to the east Ohio. The Assistant Senate Minority Leader said the pandemic shined a light on the people who kept the economy going and thriving. He added that it’s time to show them support and give them a livable wage.

“This goes beyond what the governor is proposing in terms of just simply increase workforce development skills,” Sen. Melton said in a interview. “That’s great, that’s fine, but the bottom line is it doesn’t address the immediate need for families across the state of Indiana. This piece of legislation is focused on that population that have been at pretty much the bottom of the pay scale for the state of Indiana we want to get that up to par.”

Lincoln Evertts is a college student and cashier at a local grocery store. He is on-board for the raise in minimum wage, because there have been times he struggled to make ends meet.

“I work 40-hours a week, and I still couldn’t pay rent. It’s just really hard sometimes, especially for people my age who doesn’t have parents to support them,” Evertts said.

With Senator Melton’s proposed legislation Indiana’s minimum wage will go up to $10
and for each following year, a dollar would be added until the minimum wage reaches $15.

The bill is still in its early stages. WANE 15 reached out to Governor Eric Holcomb for comment, but received no response.