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Minimum Wage

Bills include: Fair Minimum Wage Act of2001 (S.277/H.R.665); Enhancing Economic Security for America’s Working FamiliesAct (S.8); Minimum Wage Act of 2001 (H.R.222).

   Several bills have been introduced toraise the minimum wage. Sen. Kennedy (D-MA) and Rep. Bonior (D-MI) introducedthe Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2001 (S. 277/H.R. 665), which would increase theminimum wage by $1.50 in three intervals beginning in 2001 to $6.65 per hour by2003.

    Also, a broad bill (S. 8) introduced bySen. Daschle (D-SD) contains the same minimum wage provision as S. 277/H.R. 665.In the House, Rep. Traficant (D-OH) introduced the Minimum Wage Act of 2001(H.R. 222), which would increase the minimum wage by $1.00 in two intervals overa two-year period to $6.15 by July 1, 2002.

   Sen. Kennedy introduced S. 277 alongwith 28 Democratic cosponsors and it was sent to the Committee on Health,Education, Labor, and Pensions. The broader bill introduced by Sen. Daschle thatalso contains a minimum wage provision was sent to the Finance Committee.

    In the House, H.R. 665 was introducedby Rep. Bonior along with 116 cosponsors and sent to the Committee on Educationand the Workforce. The Minimum Wage Act was also sent to the Committee onEducation and the Workforce. These committees may hold a hearing on the bill,”mark-up” (edit) the bill through amendments, vote on the measure ortake no action.

   The proposed increases to the minimumwage have become more of a political, rather than public policy, issue. Businessgroups generally believe that a minimum wage increase would help only a smallportion of the population, force some employers to eliminate positions, andcompanies should make their own wage decisions based on the economy and theirgeographic areas. Labor groups disagree.

To Learn More

  • View these bills. Enter the bill number, for example “S 277,” under “Search by bill number.”
  • Statements by the bill sponsors

SOURCE: HewittAssociates LLC