"We need to ensure that today's workers are prepared for the jobs of tomorrow," Kilmer said Tuesday. "This bill is a win-win for workers and employers because it protects the American Dream and helps create a pathway to affordable education and good jobs for millions of Americans."

The legislation is modeled after a Washington state law that Kilmer proposed in 2012, which will soon take effect in his home state.

Kilmer said the education fund is a voluntary way for workers to fund skills upgrades, which will help them boost their wages or find a new job. He said the program is especially useful for workers who want to attend college or job training programs part time.

He also said companies offering to match contributions to their workers' education fun would help them "attract and retain great employees."