Durbin and Duckworth back bill to raise federal minimum wage
U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) joined fellow Senate Democrats in introducing a bill to raise the minimum wage to $15 by 2024 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 gradually raise the minimum wage to $15 in 2024, index future minimum wage increases to median wage growth, and ensure all workers are paid at least the full federal minimum wage by phasing out the subminimum wages for tipped workers, youth workers, and workers with disabilities.
“Too many Illinoisans work hard for 40 or more hours a week but barely earn enough to make ends meet. Nobody who gets up every morning and does their job should have to live in poverty in America,” Durbin said. “It’s about time we gave hardworking Illinoisans a raise – and this bill would do that for millions of people.”
“No one who works hard should be living in poverty,” said Duckworth. “A strong national minimum wage levels the playing field for businesses who value their workers, boosts the economy, increases consumer spending to support businesses and helps families across our state who are struggling to scrape by.”
In Illinois, there are approximately 2.3 million workers who earn less than $15 an hour.
According to 2017 estimates from the Economic Policy Institute, raising the minimum wage to $15 would increase wages for roughly 40 million people nationwide—nearly 30 percent of the workforce.
Once fully phased in, this roughly translates into an annual pay increase of about $3,500 for the average affected worker.
The Raise the Wage Act of 2019 would:
Gradually raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 over the next six years to lift millions of workers out of poverty, stimulate local economies, and restore the value of minimum wage;
Index future increases in the federal minimum wage to median wage growth to ensure the value of minimum wage does not once again erode over time;
Guarantees tipped workers are paid at least the full federal minimum wage by repealing the subminimum wage for tipped workers, which will ensure consistent, livable pay;
Guarantees teen workers are paid at least the full federal minimum wage by repealing the rarely used subminimum wage for youth workers; and
End subminimum wage certificates for individuals with disabilities to provide opportunities for individuals with disabilities to be competitively employed, taxpaying citizens and participate more fully in their communities.
A fact sheet on the bill is available here.