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Minimum Wage Increase Proposal

Minimum Wage Increase Proposal

     WASHINGTON D.C. (WENY) --   The snow and ice brought our nation’s capital to a standstill – shutting down the federal government in the process.  Lawmakers may not be on Capitol Hill today, but many restaurants, bars and other local shops are still open.

     Those employees – who make their living off of tips – are earning $2.13 cents an hour under the federal tipped minimum wage.  Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown is introducing legislation today that will raise the tipped minimum wage to 70 percent of the regular minimum wage.

     Brown’s legislation would also increase the regular minimum wage to $10.10 an hour from its current $7.25 under the Fair Minimum Wage Act.  This means tipped workers could see their wages increase to $7.10 – or even higher.

     Some economists say raising the minimum wage for both tipped and non-tipped workers could lift 4.6 million people out of poverty and could help boost the GDP by $33 billion – and generate 140,000 new jobs in the process.

     “There’s just no reason why we shouldn’t raise the minimum wage overall, and raise the tipped minimum wage, so that people that work as valets,  and work at airports, and work at hotels, and are waiting tables, that they can make a decent, honorable living for the hard work that they do,” says Ohio Senator, Sherrod Brown.

     Many Republicans, like Senator Rob Portman, say the number one way to deal with income inequality is not to raise the federal minimum wage – but to create more jobs.  Republicans point out that only three percent of the nation’s workers make the minimum wage, and half of those workers are under 25 years old.