Graham Unveils Economic Plan

By: Andy Alcock
By: Andy Alcock

A minimum wage increase is part of the economic agenda for a local congressional candidate.

Democrat Gwen Graham says if elected, she'd work to raise the minimum wage in stages.

However, when asked, she didn't offer specifics on a target amount or a time frame stating she would work with other members on those details.

"It's the right thing to do," said Graham. "We need to be moving towards a place where people who are working 40 hours a week are able to put food on the table," she said.

Graham also supports a federal balanced budget amendment, but says she'd leave medicare and social security out of it and have an emergency exception.

She believes part of the formula for balancing the budget is cutting corporate tax breaks.

Graham's economic plan also includes expanded Pell Grants for college students.

She says some parts of the Affordable Care Act like allowing people with pre-existing medical conditions to get insurance need to be kept.

But Graham also said other parts need to be changed.

In particular, she expressed concerns about the employer mandate to provide insurance for businesses employing 30 or more people.

That provision is currently on hold.

Graham also criticized Congressman Steve Southerland for supporting a government shutdown.

In a statement, Southerland said, "It's unfortunate my opponent spent her first policy speech falsely attacking me for the government shutdown rather than presenting a serious plan for job creation and economic growth. The facts are I voted four times to avert a government shutdown and a dozen other times to fund veterans programs, welfare benefits and other critical services."

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