On April 30th, Congressman Smith became a cosponsor of the Raise the Wage Act introduced by Senator Patty Murray and Ed & Workforce Chairman Bobby Scott. This legislation would raise the minimum wage nationwide to $12.00 per hour by 2020. Congressman Smith released the following statement in support of the bill:
“As our economy continues to recover from the Great Recession, we need policies that support investing in our workforce to ensure that everyone is sharing in the recovery. A large part of this is making sure that employees earn a living wage. This legislation would help do so by increasing the national minimum wage to $12 an hour by 2020.
“Studies have shown that the fall in minimum wage over the last 30 years has led to an increase in inequality between median wage earners and workers at the bottom of the wage ladder. Addressing this issue is central to establishing wage equality for all workers but particularly women, as female employees are 60% more likely to be paid minimum wage than male employees.”
Besides increasing the national minimum wage from $7.25 to $12.00 by the year 2020, this bill would also index the minimum wage to the median wage starting in 2021, and eliminate the tipped minimum wage gradually by raising the cash wage from the current $2.13 per hour to match the regular minimum wage.