The workers have gathered against the controversial salary bill

LINCOLN, Neb. (COLOGNE) – Step back – that was the theme at the Belmont Community Center on Saturday.

That’s one thing organizers against LB327, which has been combined with LB15 in committee, say the bill would be accomplished by keeping the minimum wage at $10.50 for workers ages 14 to 17.

“This project affects me directly,” said 16-year-old Sam Washburn.

Washburn is a Papillion La Vista junior working in the service industry. He said he wasn’t particularly political until he learned about the bill.

“When almost 60% of Nebraskans vote in favor of Initiative 455 and then see that it directly affects me and the assistant coaches, it creates a lower minimum wage,” he said. “It’s an outrage.”

The bill also caps future increases in the minimum wage, which must increase with inflation after it reaches $15 an hour in 2026. This law limits this increase to 1.5%.

“Every time we pay someone more, offer people more money or take money from someone, we’re showing our value to those people,” said the Rev. Zach Wolfe, three-time chair of the Nebraska Poor People’s Campaign.

State Sen. Jane Raybould, who recently sponsored LB327, said the bill strikes a balance between improved growth by constituents and the interests of small and medium-sized businesses.

Washburn said no matter what happens on the legislative floor this session, she plans to keep fighting and do what she can to advocate for herself and her peers.

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