Congressman Horsford Votes to Raise Wages for Nevada’s Working Families
Washington, D.C. — Today, Congressman Steven Horsford voted to pass the Raise the Wage Act, landmark legislation to gradually increase the federal minimum wage to $15 over six years. According to independent economic analysis, the bill would increase pay for up to 33 million American workers, including nearly 127,500 workers in Nevada’s Fourth Congressional District.
“Today, Americans are working harder than ever, but their wages are falling behind. One in 9 U.S. workers are paid wages that leave them in poverty, even when working full-time and year-round. That is unacceptable,” Congressman Horsford said. “While Republicans wrote their GOP tax plan to benefit the wealthy and well-connected, House Democrats are laser-focused on growing the pay-checks of the hard-working men and women who are the backbone of our nation.”
In Nevada, Governor Steve Sisolak recently signed into law a $12 minimum wage following ten years of wage stagnation for working-class families. That raise is set to go into effect in 2020—for now, one in five workers in Nevada are making under $12, less than $24,000 per year. The Raise the Wage Act would supersede the state-level increase, instead raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025.
“Nevadans have spoken and demanded the minimum wage be raised—and our state legislature delivered. I brought the same fight to Washington on behalf of my constituents in Nevada,” Congressman Horsford said. “I believe one job should be enough to provide a good quality of life for themselves and their families.”
The Raise the Wage Act would lift 1.3 million Americans out of poverty, including 600,000 children, stimulate local economies, and restore the value of the minimum wage. Recent research has stated that following an increase in wages, we can see suicide rates fall, consumer spending rise, and a more productive workforce.
The benefits will not just be felt by working families. Business owners will see increased productivity in their workforce: In one study, researchers tracked 10,000 workers at about 200 department stores and found a $1 increase in the minimum wage led a typical employee to sell about 4.5 percent more per hour. For a worker earning the minimum wage, the increase could be almost 20 percent.
Additionally, in order to assure that Nevada’s small and family-owned businesses will not be adversely affected, Congressman Horsford took additional steps to commission a Government Accountability Office study to review the impact the differences between the state and federal minimum wage raises would have on Nevada’s businesses.
The Raise the Wage Act of 2019 would:
• Gradually raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 over the next six years, lifting millions of workers out of poverty, stimulating local economies, and restoring the value of minimum wage;
• Index future increases in the federal minimum wage to median wage growth to ensure the value of minimum wage does not once again erode over time;
• Guarantee tipped workers, youth workers, and workers with disabilities are paid at least the full federal minimum wage by phasing out the subminimum wages that allow these workers to be paid below $7.25 an hour.