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What is the status of the proposed minimum wage increase?

As a worker in Florida, you may be aware of a movement to increase the national minimum wage to $15 per hour. Since the current minimum wage in the United States is $7.25, this would represent a dramatic change, more than doubling the current minimum. While once regarded as unfeasible, even quixotic, CNN reports that the Raise the Wage Act recently reached the congressional floor. 

States have the authority to set their own minimum wage, as do some municipalities. The rule is that they are not allowed to go under the national minimum, although they can go over. The average hourly wage for fast-food workers was approximately $9 per hour in the year 2012. The movement pushing for a $15 per hour national minimum wage was born in New York City in late autumn of that year when a group of fast-food employees walked off the job to demand higher pay. 

Approximately seven years later, in 2019, the Raise the Wage Act has come one step closer to becoming the law of the land. The House of Representatives passed the measure in mid-July. If it gains the approval of the Senate and the executive branch in its current form, then by 2025, most American workers would see their hourly pay increase to $15. 

Nevertheless, the measure still has a long way to go before it can become law. The Senate would have to vote to pass it, and then the president would have to sign it. If the Raise the Wage Act passes in 2020, it would break a record for the longest period of time that the United States has gone without a minimum wage raise. The last raise was in 2009, and a federal minimum wage has been in effect since 1938. 

The information in this article is not intended as legal advice but provided for educational purposes only.

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