Daugaard signs measure to carve out $7.50 youth minimum wage

PIERRE, - Gov. Dennis Daugaard has signed a controversial measure to exempt South Dakota's youngest workers from the $8.50 minimum wage voters approved in November.

Daugaard weighed his decision before signing the measure Friday to carve out a $7.50 youth minimum wage.

The governor said previously he wouldn't support a "direct attack" on the voter-approved measure such as a repeal of the inflationary increases attached to the wage.

But Daugaard says the ballot initiative campaign to pass the wage hike focused on adult workers who support a family, not on young workers. The legislative proposal would affect people under 18, and the $7.50 youth wage wouldn't be subject to future cost-of-living increases.

Daugaard says the legislative proposal doesn't undermine the ballot measure's intent. Opponents say the legislation goes against the voters' will.

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