04.30.15

Peters Backs New Bill to Raise the Minimum Wage to $12 by 2020

Legislation Would Give 1.2 Million Michigan Workers a Raise

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Gary Peters (MI) today joined 32 of his colleagues in introducing the Raise the Wage Act, legislation that would increase the federal hourly minimum wage to $12. The bill would incrementally raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $12 in 2020 and then index the minimum wage to the increase in median hourly wages for all employees starting in 2021. It would also eliminate the tipped minimum wage gradually by raising the cash wage from the current $2.13 per hour to match the regular minimum wage.

“Nobody who works full-time in this country should have to live in poverty, but that is the brutal economic reality for millions of families across the country right now who can’t make ends meet in the face of stagnant wages and increased costs of daily necessities,” said Senator Peters. “Increasing the minimum wage means rewarding the value of hard work, so that families have a real opportunity to not just get by, but get ahead and join the middle class. I support raising the federal minimum wage to $12 an hour over the next five years because we have to build an economy that works for all families.”

A new report from the Economic Policy Institute finds that raising the federal minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $12 in 2020 would give almost 38 million hard-working Americans a raise, including the parents of nearly 18.7 million children. The increase in income would be enough to lift a family of four out of poverty.

In Michigan, raising the minimum wage to $12 an hour would benefit more than 1.2 million workers by 2020. This would amount to a $3.1 billion total wage increase for workers in Michigan, providing an average annual income boost of $2,600.

Increasing the minimum wage to $12 an hour would also foster broader economic growth. The additional income earned by a minimum wage worker will likely be spent on additional goods and services, pumping money back into our economy. It also means increased productivity and lower turnover for employees, which reduces employment and training costs for businesses.

“Raising the minimum wage is not just about bigger paychecks, it is about growing our overall economy,” added Senator Peters. “Higher wages translate to greater purchasing power for working families across the country, which means businesses have more potential customers who can afford what they are selling. Businesses will also reap the rewards of a more productive, more stable workforce.”

As a member of the House, Peters cosponsored the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013 to gradually raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour.

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