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Credit: pskinner@ajc.com

Credit: pskinner@ajc.com

Raising minimum wage carries unintended financial consequences

Under current law, an 50% increase in the minimum wage to $15 an hour would produce roughly a 15% net pay increase for a full-time working Georgia mother with a 15-year-old child currently making $10 per hour, assuming she qualifies for Obamacare and her son qualifies for Medicaid (which both would if she didn’t receive coverage through her job).

This is so, due to the federal entitlements and tax regime designed to increase the standard of living of lower-income households. Entitlements include Obamacare, a child tax credit, the earned income credit and Obamacare premium credits. At $10/hour, she and her son would be entitled to several other entitlements, including LIHEAP (the low-income home energy assistance program), a free cell phone and monthly usage, SNAP benefits (i.e. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — better known as food stamps), and free school breakfasts and lunches.

At $15 an hour, these benefits would be lost or reduced.

ALLEN BUCKLEY, ATLANTA

Why Ga. SB102 should be defeated

Under Senate Bill 102, Georgia’s local governments would be prohibited from adopting building codes and other controls restricting energy sources. The bill also bans similar limitations by state agencies.

Some Georgia communities have formally adopted resolutions to address crucial global overheating threats through the decisive reduction of heat-trapping greenhouse-gas emissions – which are the primary cause of rising temperatures and their increasingly dire consequences worldwide.

A key element of these resolutions is the rapid replacement of power generated using polluting, carbon-based fuels with clean-energy sources. This emerging clean-energy transformation is already generating enormous business and job opportunities.

Instead of protecting privileged corporate fossil-fuel interests, as SB102 does, Georgia should adopt legislation that provides support for diverse local job-creation in clean-energy, overdue infrastructure improvements, and other critical priorities.

Choices offering the greatest promise to Georgia’s communities and energy-consumers are thwarted by SB102, not protected by it.

Defeating the bill is essential if Georgia’s leadership hopes to prevent misguided commitment to obsolete practices that jeopardize our future.

DAVID KYLER, CENTER FOR A SUSTAINABLE COAST, SAINT SIMONS ISLAND

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