04.30.15

Baldwin Introduces Raise the Wage Act to Help Wisconsin Workers, Economy

Legislation would increase federal minimum wage to $12 per hour by 2020 

The Raise the Wage Act would boost wages for an estimated 677,000 Wisconsin workers, nearly a quarter of the state’s workforce

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin joined other Senate Democrats in introducing a bill to raise the minimum wage to $12 by 2020 to help more families make ends meet, expand economic opportunity, and help build an economy that works for all families, not just the wealthiest few. The Raise the Wage Act would also phase out the $2.13 tipped wage and would index the minimum wage to median wages. According to the Economic Policy Institute, increasing the minimum wage to $12 per hour by 2020 would raise wages for an estimated 677,000 Wisconsin workers, which is nearly a quarter (24.6 percent) of the state’s workforce. Once fully phased in, the average increase in annual income for affected Wisconsin workers will be $2,800 per year.

“Wisconsin’s economy is strongest when we expand opportunity for everyone. We need to reward the hard work of Wisconsinites by raising the minimum wage so an honest day’s work pays more,” said Senator Baldwin. “The growing gap between those at the top and everybody else has been at historic highs in recent years. The absence of upward mobility for hard working families demands action because if we can’t close this gap, we might someday soon talk about the middle class as something we used to have, not something each generation can aspire to.” 

“No one who works hard in a full-time job should have to live in poverty. We owe it to workers across the country to make sure our minimum wage is set to a level that works for them and their families.” said Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), lead author of the legislation. “Raising the minimum wage to $12 by 2020 is a key component to helping more families make ends meet, expanding economic security, and growing our economy from the middle out, not the top down.”

In the House of Representatives, Congressman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (D-VA) introduced a companion bill to raise the minimum wage to $12 by 2020.

Senator Murray was joined in introduction by: Dick Durbin (D-IL), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Ed Markey (D-MA), Bob Casey (D-PA), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Gary Peters (D-MI), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Harry Reid (D-NV), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Jack Reed (D-RI), Al Franken (D-MN), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Tom Udall (D-NM), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)