A bill that would raise the minimum wage to $15 by 2024 and add a cost of living provision has been introduced by Democratic legislators.
The one-page bill was quietly introduced during a flurry of proposed legislation that is filed as the General Assembly heads toward the June 30thend of the session.
If passed, the big jump in the base wage would come in 2020 when the base hourly wage would jump from $9.25 an hour to $11 an hour on Jan. 1, 2020. The bill’s text stated that the minimum wage was $7.75 an hour, perhaps a reflection of efforts to end a training and youth wages.
The minimum wage would then rise by $1 a year ending in 2024. After 2024, the base wage would increase based on the increase in the Consumer Price Index.
The bill seems to be yet another move by Democrats who made a last-minute move last year to pass a higher minimum wage.
GOP legislators balked and held up the state budget. They agreed to pass an increase in the minimum wage if a lower teen and training wage was implemented.
Democrats previously made noises about eliminating those provisions.
Voter support here and elsewhere strong for the higher minimum wage, but the measure has been opposed by elements of the business community, including the restaurant industry and most Republican legislators.
During the past year, the $15 an hour minimum wage has become more widespread, due to a tight labor market and an unemployment rate that has dropped to 3.2 percent as of April.
Neighboring Maryland’s minimum wage is $10.10 an hour, while New Jersey’s rate is $8.85 an hour. Pennsylvania’s minimum wage is $7.25 an hour, the nation’s minimum wage