Twenty-three states raised their minimum wage at the beginning of the year — but not South Carolina, which is one of five states without a formal minimum wage.


In the Palmetto State, like Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee, employers are subject to the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, which requires them to pay a $7.25 hourly minimum wage, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

S.C. Rep. Wendell Gilliard, D-Charleston, says it’s high time that South Carolina adopt a minimum wage of $15 per hour.

“Two main reasons are the cost of living and inflation rate,” he said.

Minimum wage raises across the country varied, with Nebraska’s being the largest as the rate went from $9 to $10.50 on Jan. 1.  The lowest increase was Michigan, which went up 23 cents to $10.10.  

Only two Southern states  have raised the minimum wage – Virginia by $1 to $12 per hour in January and Florida by $1 to $11 per hour last October.

Three Senate bills were prefiled last year in South Carolina to change the state’s minimum wage.

In other news this week:

S.C. Supreme Court hear electrocution, firing squad case. South Carolina Supreme Court justices grilled attorneys for four death row inmates over whether the newly established firing squad or electric chair violates the state constitution. The Supreme Court also questioned attorneys for the state prison agency over why it’s been unable to obtain drugs for lethal injection, a universally preferred method of execution.

McMaster speaks out against St. Helena island changes. Gov. Henry McMaster penned in a letter his concern over amending the island’s cultural protection overlay. He said he fears the proposed development may cause an “open season” on the island for other developers. More than 5,000 people have signed petitions against development.

Weaver encourages task force to think big, bold about shortage. Incoming state Superintendent of Education Ellen Weaver says big, bold ideas are needed to address a teacher shortage.

Past Democratic primary state directors back S.C. for early primary. Fourteen former S.C. state directors for 2020 Democratic presidential primary candidates are backing the state’s move to hold the first presidential primary in 2024.

PANDEMIC: Over 10K cases recorded in S.C.  The state Department of Health and Environmental Control reported a total of 10,481 for the week ending on Dec. 31.

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