About three months have passed since South Dakota voters decided to raise the minimum wage from $7.25 to $8.50 an hour.
Less than two months have gone by since the increase took effect.
And already some state senators want to adjust the pay wage scale again.
On Wednesday, the Senate agreed to create a new minimum wage of $7.50 for people younger than age 18. The law is called Senate Bill 177, which now heads to the House of Representatives.
We can see both viewpoints on setting this new minimum wage for workers younger than 18, as all 26 Republican senators voted in favor of the law and all seven Democrats opposed it.
We believe there should be equal pay for equal work, no matter the age of an employee.
But we also recognize that the purpose of having a minimum wage is to pay someone a wage they can live off to support the essentials. And, most people younger than 18 are living with their parents. They typically don't need to support themselves.
While we haven't fully decided whether we agree with the premise of this law, we think legislators are going against the will of the people in moving forward with it.
Last November, voters decided that the overall minimum wage would be $8.50. The majority decided to pass minimum wage increase by a 55-45 margin.
Sen. Billie Sutton, a Democrat from Burke, argued Wednesday that SB 177 overturns a decision made by voters in November.
Sutton explained there was nothing on the ballot about lower minimum wages for workers who are younger than 18. It was simply for anyone earning minimum wage.
"That vote is a betrayal of the public's vote to improve the minimum wage," he said Wednesday.
Whether this law would be beneficial logistically is a separate argument. We're against this bill simply because it was only about three months ago that voters decided the parameters of our state's minimum wage.
Voters decided the minimum wage for any employee should be $8.50.
That law has been in effect since Jan. 1. Do we really have enough proof that there already needs to be a change?
We don't think so.
For five years, the minimum wage was set at $7.25 and was finally raised at the beginning of this year. Let's keep it the way the voters decided, at least for a while longer than a couple months.