While Washington State’s workers enjoy a strong minimum wage indexed to inflation, working families in other states aren’t so lucky. But there are many movements are afoot to change that.
In Texas (at Baylor University), supporters say: “As Christians, we must do better than simply meeting the “minimum” requirements established by the federal government.”
In Tennessee, faith leaders are undertaking a 24-hour period of fasting, prayer and action, vowing to press their city council to include workers at the city’s public utility in a living wage ordinance.
In Georgia, over 100 members of the clergy demonstrated public support for House Bill 845, which will increase the state minimum wage for workers who are exempt from the federal minimum wage.
A state commission in New Jersey is urging lawmakers to raise the minimum wage to $8.25 an hour, which would be the highest in the nation.
In Kansas, which sports the dubious distinction of the lowest minimum wage in the nation ($2.65 an hour), lawmakers brought a minimum wage increase to a vote in the legislature. Though supporters lost this year, it seems likely the measure will be back for another vote next year.
In all, thirteen U.S. states have a minimum wage that is either the same or lower than federal standards. Another five have no minimum wage law at all.