Democrats are pushing for an increase in the federal minimum wage, and an end to the tipped minimum wage.
The bills introduced in both the House and Senate would increase the minimum wage to 15 dollars an hour by 2024 and tie future grown of the minimum wage to inflation and other financial indexes.
Congressman Mark Pocan says the minimum wage hasn’t changed for 12 years, and in that time the type of person who is working for minimum wage has also changed.
“The average minimum wage worker is 36 years old. A majority of them, it’s their full time job, it’s not this myth of a teenager getting some extra pocket change.”
He says that someone making just $7.25 an hour full time can’t afford basic needs in most of the country. “In Dane County, you would have to work 91 hours at minimum wage in order to afford a two bedroom apartment and get by.”
Democrats also want to do away with the practice of having a lower minimum wage for waitresses and other tipped employees. “To have a minimum wage that’s actually below the unlivable $7.25 at 2 dollars and some change depending on where you live is completely impossible to survive on,” says Pocan.