Overland Park families debate pros and cons of minimum wage increase

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. - Aviva Solomon is enjoying life as an Overland Park mother. She has a husband she adores, two beautiful children and the support of family who live in the area.

Solomon said not long ago, she was struggling to get by.

"Each of us had $300 a month -- that was for food, clothes, everything, so you had to write down everything you spent. We bought food collectively as a house," she said.

At the time, Solomon was living in New York City. She had a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and a Master's Degree in social work. Even with all that education, she was earning minimum wage.

When she heard President Obama propose an increase in the minimum wage to $9 per hour, it peaked her interest.

"If you work hard, you should be able to support yourself and your children and not have to be on food stamps. If you are getting up and going to work every day, fulfilling your responsibilities as a citizen, why should you be living under the poverty lines?" Solomon said.

Business owner, Cindy Khoury spent Wednesday helping out at her niece's store Shop Girls in Brookside. She is also the owner of PB&J Restaurant Group with more than 2,000 employees.

Khoury said when workers deserve a raise, they should get one, but she does not know if raising the minimum wage will have the intended impact.

She thinks business owners will have to raise prices to offset the higher payroll. She said that may keep money from going back into the economy.

Solomon said she has learned how to make a dollar stretch.

"We are on a very tight budget, we write down every single thing that we spend -- every dollar on hair cuts, the grocery store, everything, and we keep it within a monthly budget," she said.




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