Labor

Report: $15 minimum wage bill would benefit 20.7 million workers in 21 states

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Democrats’ proposal to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2024 would provide raises for 20.7 million workers in 21 states where the minimum wage is currently set at $7.25 an hour, according to a report released Monday by the National Employment Law Project.

The analysis of the Raise the Wage Act of 2017, which Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) introduced with Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and 28 other Democrats in May, comes on the eighth anniversary of the last increase in the federal minimum wage.

Reps. Bobby Scott (D-Va.) and Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) reportedly introduced the bill in the House with 152 co-sponsors.

The report, based on data and estimates from researcher David Cooper of the Economic Policy Institute, found that in the 21 states with minimum wages at $7.25 an hour, an average of 36.8 percent of the workforce would receive raises.

In Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — two key battleground states won by President Trump — the percentages are similarly high at 35.4 and 32.5 percent, respectively, the report said.

“The federal minimum wage is supposed to provide a meaningful standard to ensure that workers everywhere in the country are paid at least an adequate wage to meet their basic needs,” Christine Owens, the group’s executive director, said in a statement.

“But with the federal minimum wage stuck now for eight years at a poverty-level of $7.25 per hour, it is falling far short of that critical role. Instead, at such an appallingly low wage level, it’s being used as a weight to suppress workers’ wages.”

This story was updated to reflect that Sen. Charles Schumer is the Senate minority leader. 

Tags Bernie Sanders Bobby Scott Charles Schumer Patty Murray
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