WASHINGTON, D.C. – Starting today, minimum wage workers in Ohio and 12 other states will be getting bigger paychecks. Low income workers are getting higher wages in more than a dozen states.
In New York, the minimum wage is going up to $8 from $7.25. Most of the state increases amount to less than 15 cents. But Connecticut, New York, and Rhode Island are seeing decent bumps, with hikes ranging from 25 cents to 75 cents an hour. And workers in New Jersey will see their minimum wage go up by $1 an hour.
The hikes come right in the middle of a national debate over low pay. The federal minimum wage is currently $7.25 an hour, and many workers are pushing for more, but lawmakers are split on the issue. Many Republicans believe raising wages would lead to a pullback in hiring.
“Saddling New York employers with additional costs can create a barrier to getting more individuals back to work,” said Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY). “I recognize the federal minimum wage hasn’t been looked at in many years and I think that is a fair debate and a debate I am willing to have.”
A recent ABC/WASHINGTON POST poll shows that two thirds of Americans believe minimum wage workers should be paid more. President Obama said he supports legislation that would life the federal rate, but the measure faces an uphill battle in Congress.