WASHINGTON – This week, Congresswoman Jahana Hayes (CT-05), Vice Ranking Member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, Congressman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03), and Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) introduced the Raise the Wage Act. The legislation would gradually raise the minimum wage to $17 by 2028 and give roughly 28 million Americans a raise.

After more than a decade without an increase in the federal minimum wage – the longest stretch in U.S. history – millions of people across the country are working 40 hours or more a week and still cannot pay their bills, support their families, or achieve economic mobility.

The Raise the Wage Act of 2023 would increase paychecks for millions of American workers while supporting families that have been hardest hit by the pandemic. 

“Connecticut is a leader in the fight to pay workers a livable wage. In 2019, Governor Ned Lamont signed a law providing for a 5-year gradual increase in minimum wage to $15 per hour. As of June 2023, the minimum wage has reached $15 per hour and Connecticut’s unemployment rate achieved a new post-COVID lockdown low of 3.7 % compared to 4.0% one year ago,” said Congresswoman Jahana Hayes (CT-05). “Now, it is time for Congress to take it a step forward, pass the Raise the Wage Act and gradually increase the national minimum wage to $17 per hour. Connecticut has shown that raising the minimum wage is a realistic goal and we must make this a reality for all people in the U.S.” 

“No person working full-time in America should be living in poverty. The Raise the Wage Act will increase the pay and standard of living for nearly 28 million workers across this country. Raising the minimum wage is good for workers, good for business, and good for the economy. When we put money in the pockets of American workers, they will spend that money in their communities,” said Ranking Member Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03).

The legislation would:

  • Gradually raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $17 by 2028;
  • 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 are paid at least the full federal minimum wage by phasing out the subminimum wage for tipped workers, which will ensure decent, consistent pay without eliminating tips;
  • Guarantee teen workers are paid at least the full federal minimum wage by phasing out the rarely used subminimum wage for youth workers; and
  • End subminimum wage certificates for workers with disabilities to provide opportunities for workers with disabilities to be competitively employed and participate more fully in their communities.

In state-level ballot initiatives and nationwide polls, Americans around the country and across political spectrum have repeatedly demonstrated overwhelming support for raising the minimum wage.  In fact, support for raising the minimum wage increased during the pandemic. Since 2014, 28 states and the District of Columbia have raised their minimum wages.

In June of 2023, the minimum wage in Connecticut increased from $14.00 per hour to $15.00 per hour as a result of Public Act 19-4, An Act Increasing the Minimum Fair Wage, which was signed into law in 2019Over the course of five years, the minimum wage increased to its current rate from $10.10 per hour in 2019. Starting in 2024, the minimum wage will be calculated based on the employment cost index and grow according to economic indicators.

The state of Connecticut is a leader in the fight to boost the economy by providing easier access to a livable wage. It is time for the federal government to follow Connecticut’s example and take steps to raise wages on a national level. 

Endorsing Organizations:

  • A Better Balance: The Work & Family Legal Center, 
  • AFL-CIO, 
  • American Federation of State, 
  • County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), 
  • American Federation of Teachers (AFT), 
  • Americans for Democratic Action (ADA), 
  • Association of People Supporting Employment First (APSE), 
  • Autistic Self-Advocacy Network (ASAN), 
  • Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, 
  • Bend the Arc: Jewish Action, 
  • Business for a Fair Minimum Wage,
  • Care in Action, 
  • Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), 
  • Communications Workers of America (CWA), 
  • Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation (CSAVR), 
  • Demand Progress, Economic Policy Institute (EPI), 
  • Farmworker and Landscaper Advocacy Project, 
  • First Focus Campaign for Children,
  • Food Research & Action Center (FRAC), 
  • Indivisible, Jobs With Justice, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, 
  • Milwaukee Area Service & Hospitality Workers Union, 
  • National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA), 
  • National Education Association (NEA), 
  • National Employment Lawyers Association, 
  • National Employment Law Project (NELP), 
  • National Institute for Workers’ Rights,
  • National Network to End Domestic Violence,
  • National Partnership for Women & Families, 
  • National Urban League, 
  • National Women's Law Center (NWLC),
  • One Fair Wage, 
  • Oxfam America, 
  • Patriotic Millionaires, 
  • Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, 
  • Service Employees International Union (SEIU), 
  • Shriver Center on Poverty Law,
  • Southern Poverty Law Center Action Fund (SPLCAF), 
  • The Workers Circle, 
  • United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), 
  • United for Respect, United Steelworkers (USW), 
  • Voices for Progress (V4P), 
  • Workplace Fairness, and 

To read the bill text for the Raise the Wage Act of 2023, click here.

To read the fact sheet on the Raise the Wage Act of 2023, click here.

To read the section-by-section Raise the Wage Act of 2023, click here.