President Obama, congressional Democrats, and progressive activists are heavily invested in trying to raise the federal minimum wage, but congressional Republicans simply will not budge.
Away from Capitol Hill, however, plenty of policymakers aren’t waiting.
Connecticut’s legislature voted on Wednesday to raise the state’s minimum wage from $8.25 per hour to $10.10. The federal minimum wage proposal endorsed by President Obama would also raise base pay up to $10.10. […]Connecticut is only the latest in a string of state legislatures and city councils to give low-wage workers the boost denied to them by the federal government. Although Connecticut’s minimum wage is now the highest state-level minimum wage in the nation, some municipal governments have raised the wage floor even higher.
What’s more, Connecticut’s move comes a month after clothing retailer Gap Inc. announced it will increase its minimum wage to $9 an hour by June and $10 an hour in 2015.
Which came after the Obama White House increased the minimum wage for government contractors.
Which came after a variety of other states and municipalities acted on the same issue.
Speaking of the minimum wage, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) made the case the other day that he opposes an increase because of concern for young workers.
“The majority of these workers are younger people just getting into the workforce,” Ryan said. “What we don’t want to do is support ideas, especially in this kind of economy, which will reduce the availability of jobs, number one, but more importantly reduce the availability of jobs from the very people we want to get into jobs so they can start climbing that ladder of life, so they can get in and start working their way up and get the skills they need to earn a better job.”
For the record, whether or not Ryan has forgotten these details, 84% of Americans working for the minimum wage are over the age of 20 – and nearly half (47%) are over 30.