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Charles Monaco on July 24, 2013 - 7:11am
Today, state legislators across the country are joining other elected officials, workers, and advocates in a day of action to highlight the need to raise the minimum wage to improve the economy for all. Four years after the most recent increase in the federal minimum wage, legislator members of PSN's Economic Security Working Group and others will be taking actions, holding events, and communicating with their constituents about the need to boost wages and the economic benefits that raising the minimum wage at both the state and federal level would bring. Here's a chart showing how your state measures up on the minimum wage, as well as a quick summary of the federal and various state campaigns to raise the wage.
Follow along today on Twitter at the hashtag #RaiseTheWage, share the graphics below on social media, and check back throughout the day for updates.
9am ET update: A new poll came out this morning showing that 80% of Americans support raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour and indexing to inflation.
2pm ET update: More on state legislators in Nebraska, Florida, Minnesota, and elsewhere taking actions today underscoring the need to raise the wage.
Sen. Jeremy Nordquist of Omaha said Wednesday that he will introduce a bill to raise the rate from its current $7.25 per hour. Nordquist and five other lawmakers released statements calling on the federal government to increase its minimum wage, which is also $7.25 per hour.
The announcement is part of a series actions taking place around the nation on Wednesday, which marks the fourth anniversary of the last minimum wage increase.
Five other Nebraska lawmakers voiced support for a federal increase: Sens. Tanya Cook, Sara Howard, Rick Kolowski and Heath Mello, all of Omaha, and Sen. Ken Haar of Malcolm.
In Florida, Senator Dwight Bullard commented on his experience living for a week on a minimum wage budget:
“To fill up my gas tank costs about $60. You can do the math from there," stated State Senator Dwight Bullard (Florida), who lived on a budget of $52.67 for a week.
"That $52 was all I had for food, and travel. It was extremely challenging. There are incredibly hard working people in my district who give their all and get so little. It’s important that people like me and other lawmakers across the state do what’s right for the well being of all we serve by increasing the minimum wage."
Here's video taken during the week Sen. Bullard was living on the minimum wage:
In Minnesota, a legislative committee was set to hold public hearings on the need for a living wage.
And a campaign kicked off to put a minimum wage increase on the ballot in 2014 in Massachusetts today.
5pm ET update: More news on some growing momentum behind state-based minimum wage campaigns.
In Michigan, workers and advocates gathered across the state today to call on state lawmakers to increase the state minimum wage from its current rate of $7.40 an hour.
In addition to Massachusetts, ballot initiative efforts are underway in states including Idaho and South Dakota to put minimum wage increases before the voters. The city council in SeaTac, Washington also unanimously approved an effort just yesterday to put a "Good Jobs Initiative" to a public vote - which would include a minimum wage of $15 an hour.
In other states, lawmakers called for an increase in the federal minimum wage. Following victory on a minimum wage increase in Rhode Island this year, State Senator Gayle Goldin tweeted today that she was "proud of RI increasing minimum wage, but it's time for the nation to #raisethewage." And at least eight elected officials in New York are living on a minimum wage budget this week to highlight the need to raise the wage.