Though some parts of California already have a minimum wage that’s approximately double the national minimum wage, workers everywhere may soon be making $15 per hour if President Joe Biden has his way.
The president has proposed a $15-per-hour national minimum wage — a far stretch from the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.
As of Jan. 1, 2021, the minimum wage in California is $13 per hour for employers with 25 employees or less. Employers with 26 or more employees must pay their workers $14 per hour. Under current California law, all workers will be at a $15 minimum wage rate come 2023, regardless of the number of employees.
Federally, though, there’s a much different story in the books— and the president is looking to change that narrative.
In Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package, dubbed the “American Rescue Plan,” you’ll find his plan to fund more vaccinations and provide financial relief for families struggling during the COVID-19 crisis. Part of that support is a specific line item to raise the federal minimum wage by more than double.
“Hard working Americans deserve sufficient wages to put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads, without having to keep multiple jobs,” the White House says of the proposal. “But millions of working families are struggling to get by. This is why the president is calling on Congress to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour, and end the tipped minimum wage and sub-minimum wage for people with disabilities so that workers across the country can live a middle class life and provide opportunity for their families.”
In order for the $15 federal minimum wage to pass, it’ll have to get through some hurdles.
The Washington Post reports that “raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025 would cost 1.4 million jobs and increase the deficit by $54 billion over 10 years, but it also would lift 900,000 people out of poverty.”
As of Wednesday, lawmakers were awaiting a ruling from Senate officials on if the proposal can remain in the president’s bill.
If it’s found that the wage hike can be included with the bill under the “budget reconciliation” process, then no GOP support is necessary. If the contrary is found, though, then some concessions may need to be made to make the deal more appealing for both sides of the aisle.