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Congressional Democrats today introduced a new bill to substantially raise the federal minimum wage – to $12 by 2020 -- tie future increases to rising overall wages, and incrementally raise the minimum wage for tipped workers until it equals the overall federal minimum. Prompted by the growing ‘Fight for $15’ movement among fast food and allied workers, as well as a wave of higher wage campaigns in cities across the country, the new federal bill sets down a higher baseline marker for minimum wage efforts nationally. The proposal would boost hourly pay for 35 million workers in the U.S.

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Birmingham, AL Becomes First City in Deep South to Set a Local Minimum Wage of $10.10 by 2017

The City Council in Birmingham, Alabama became the first municipality in the Deep South to enact a local minimum wage yesterday, by a vote of 7-0 (with one abstention). The Birmingham minimum wage will increase to $8.50 an hour in July 2016 and to $10.10 an hour in July 2017, with annual cost-of-living increases thereafter.

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Raise the Wage Act Would Boost Pay for 15 Million in the 21 States Stuck at $7.25

Legislation to raise the federal minimum wage to $12 by 2020 would boost pay for more than 15 million low-wage workers in the 21 states where the minimum wage is now stuck at the $7.25 per hour poverty-level wage. That’s according to a new fact sheet from the National Employment Law Project which looks at the 21 states that do not have a state minimum wage higher than the federal minimum, and the impact the Raise the Wage Act would have in those states.

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$15 Fast-Food NY Wage Board Recommendation Shows Workers Can Be “Agents of Historic Change”

A New York State Wage Board today recommended phasing in an increase in the minimum wage paid to workers at fast-food chains to $15 per hour by 2018 in New York City and throughout the rest of the state by 2021. The state labor commissioner is expected to issue a wage order enacting that plan. The wage board action marks the first statewide adoption of a $15 minimum wage for workers across an entire industry, and a monumental victory for the Fight for $15 movement which began less than three years ago in New York City.

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Kansas City, Missouri Adopts $13 Minimum Wage by 2020

The City Council in Kansas City, Missouri voted 12-1 yesterday to approve a plan that will raise the minimum wage citywide in stages beginning next month, with further increases each year starting in 2017 until it reaches $13 per hour in 2020. Minimum wage raises thereafter would be linked to increases in consumer costs. Kansas City becomes the first city in Missouri to enact a local minimum wage higher than the state minimum, which is currently $7.65 per hour, and the second city in the Midwest to adopt a $13 minimum wage.

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Portland Becomes First City in Maine to Set Higher Local Minimum Wage

The City Council in Portland, Maine voted 6-3 this week to enact a local minimum wage of $10.10 per hour starting January 1, 2016 and then raise it to $10.68 in 2017, with future increases tied to consumer price increases. Mayor Michael Brennan had vowed last year to gain approval for a higher minimum wage, and a majority of council members decided they could no longer wait for a statewide minimum wage increase, prospects for that having died last month in the state’s gridlocked legislature. The minimum wage in Maine is currently $7.50 per hour, a mere twenty-five cents higher than the federal minimum of $7.25, and neither wage has been increased since 2009.

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35,000 Massachusetts Home Health Care Workers Win $15 Starting Minimum Wage

Home care workers in Massachusetts who provide personal health care assistance to elderly and disabled clients covered by Medicaid won a new starting wage of $15 per hour beginning in 2018 last week – a first-ever statewide victory for a $15 minimum wage for workers in a low-wage industry. The higher starting minimum wage agreement covers more than 35,000 home care workers in the state who are members of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1199, and was the result of months of negotiations on a new contract between the union and the administration of Governor Charlie Baker.

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