11/05/2013 12:49 pm ET Updated Nov 08, 2013

9 Places Fighting For A Higher Minimum Wage (UPDATE)


With President Barack Obama's proposal to raise the federal minimum wage going nowhere, some states and cities are taking matters into their own hands.

Already 19 states (+D.C.) have minimum wages that are higher than the federally mandated rate. Here are some more locales trying to boost worker pay:

New Jersey: Voters in the Garden State will decide Tuesday whether to raise the minimum wage to $8.25 from $7.25. Roughly 50,000 workers in the state earn the minimum wage, according to the AP.

UPDATE: The vote was "overwhelmingly" approved. The state now has an amendment in its constitution that raises the minimum wage to $8.25.

SeaTac, Washington: A small suburb of Seattle, SeaTac is home to more than 6,000 airport and hospitality workers who want to raise the minimum hourly wage to $15 from $9.19. If approved SeaTac will have one of the highest minimum wages in the country.

South Dakota: South Dakotans have gathered enough signatures to put a measure on the ballot next year that would consider raising the minimum wage to $8.50 per hour from $7.25. The provision would also include annual cost-of-living increases. About 62,000 workers in the state would see a boost in their paycheck if the law passed.

Alaska: Organizers in Alaska are gathering signatures for a measure that would raise the minimum wage to $8.75 from $7.75 in 2015. The minimum wage would then increase to $9.75 in 2016.

Idaho: Minimum wage advocates in Idaho are proposing a law that would raise the minimum wage to $9.80 an hour gradually by 2017. Organizers are currently collecting signatures to get the measure on the ballot next year.

Maryland: In March, a provision to raise the minimum wage in Maryland to $10 from $7.25 was voted down by a state Senate panel. Today, there are still organizations trying to bring the wage floor up as high as $15. Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and his democratic supporters haven't given up either and are still proposing measures to increase the state's minimum wage.

Illinois: Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn and his supporters are trying to raise the minimum wage to $10 from $8.25. "No one in Illinois should work 40 hours a week and live in poverty," the governor has previously said. A measure recently introduced in the state's house of representatives would raise the wage floor to $10.65 by 2016.

Minnesota: With a wage floor of $6.15 per hour, Minnesota is just one of four states with a minimum wage lower than the federal standard of $7.25 an hour (the other three are Wyoming, Arkansas and Georgia). When such a discrepancy occurs, workers are entitled to the higher minimum wage rate. The state's Senate voted to increase the state's minimum wage modestly to $7.75 from the federal level.Meanwhile, a House bill seeks to increase the state’s minimum wage to $9.50 by 2015. The two branches need to compromise before anything is written into law.

Massachusetts: Massachusetts lawmakers are currently considering a measure that would gradually raise the minimum wage to $11 from $8 by 2015.



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