More Testimony on Minimum Wage

March 3, 2008

Written testimony from Senator Maria T. Pangelinian was published in the Saipan Tribune. Read it here. Senator Maria T. Pangelininan supports a minimum wage increase, in well-grounded and sensible arguments. In part she writes:

"The majority of our elected officials have, to date, been unable or unwilling to address the issue of a realistic minimum wage level, even during the economic boom of the 1990's. Despite the sincere efforts of a few individuals, who were willing to stand up to political pressure exerted by private sector employers, the minimum wage has remained unchanged until the recent passage of the federal law under discussion today. The people of the Commonwealth are now looking to the U.S. Congress to hold to their course, not delay further increases, and finally bring some equity to this situation."

By contrast the Saipan Chamber of Commerce opposes a minimum wage increase. Read their testimony here. The last paragraph of their testimony states:

"The Saipan Chamber of Commerce-which has not and does not oppose reasonable and sustainable increases to the Commonwealth's minimum wage-requests that the United States Congress take immediate measures to halt the automatic minimum wage increases mandated by P.L. 110-28 and institute a system that relies on quantitative data and allows the flexibility necessary to implement increases in a manner that recognizes the unique nature of our island economy, the current economic depression we are experiencing, and our desire to not become the economic burden on the federal government that we surely would be should our isolated economy collapse."