The recently proposed Living American Wage Act (LAW) would tie the federal minimum wage to the federal poverty threshold for a family of two with one child. Introduced last week by Rep. Al Green (D-Texas), LAW would index the minimum wage to 15 percent above the poverty line for a full-time worker, or about $8.20 per hour in wages, and it would increase the minimum wage every four years to maintain a wage at least 15 percent above the poverty line. For more information, click to read Rep. Green’s press release on LAW.
Such an indexed minimum wage would not be unique. Oregon adjusts its minimum wage each year based on the U.S. City Average Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers for All Items. Currently, Oregon’s minimum wage is $8.40 per hour. For a list of the minimum wages in other states, click here for the Department of Labor’s handy list of minimum wages by state, effective January 1, 2009
We’ll keep watching to see if LAW becomes law. Until then, please note that the federal minimum wage will increase to $7.25 per hour effective July 24, 2009.