July 26, 2012
Harkin Introduces Legislation to Raise Minimum Wage
WASHINGTON – Today, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, introduced the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2012. The bill would raise the minimum wage to $9.80 per hour. Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.), the senior Democratic member of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, introduced companion legislation in the United States House of Representatives today.
“It is long past time to establish a fair minimum wage in our country. It is good for families, good for business and good for our economy, and, most importantly, it is the right thing to do,” said Harkin. “People who work hard for a living should not have to live in poverty. I am proud to introduce this bill today, to raise the minimum wage, and to help tens of millions of workers and their families.”
The bill will increase the minimum wage in three steps from $7.25 to $9.80 per hour over the next two years and will index the minimum wage to inflation thereafter so that it keeps up with the rising cost of living. For the first time in more than twenty years, it will raise the minimum wage for tipped workers, with a more gradual increase from $2.13 per hour to a level that is 70 percent of the full minimum wage, or around $6.85 per hour.
The legislation is based on Harkin’s Rebuild America Act, introduced in March.