Cities, states consider minimum wage hikes

Minimum Wage Bills ImageSeveral cities and states around the U.S. are considering legislation that would increase city- and state-wide minimum wages by as little as $1 per hour to upwards of $5 per hour. Federal minimum wage is currently set at $7.25 per hour, a number that has not changed since July 2009. California and Illinois are two states considering hiking their minimum wage laws. Illinois currently has a minimum wage of $8.25 per hour, and the State Senate has presented a referendum to Gov. Pat Quinn. It is expected that voters may be asked to consider a wage increase of $10 per hour. Earlier this year, a similar bill failed in the state. Meanwhile, California’s minimum wage, currently at $8 per hour, will increase to $9 this summer, and $10 in 2016, based on previously signed legislation by Gov. Jerry Brown. California’s Senate has just passed a bill that suggested overriding the current legislation, so as to implement a statewide increase to $13 per hour by the year 2017, via similar annual stair-stepping. The bill, which is currently in the House, also includes a provision to account for inflation after the year 2018. But it is Seattle, Wash., that will officially have the highest minimum wage in the country — at $15 per hour — if all goes as the city hopes. With the state minimum wage currently at $9.32 an hour, the Seattle City Council approved a measure for a gradual increase to $15, as well as a sub-minimum wage for teen workers. The International Franchise Association has threatened a lawsuit to stop the hike from occurring, and other groups, including non-profits and restaurant owners, have spoken out against the wage hike, as they expect they will not be able to hire as many workers or provide enough hours for those workers under the new wage. Maryland, Minnesota and Connecticut have also managed to pass laws raising minimum wage rates, to be implemented over the next few years.]]>

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