Monday, January 29, 2007

Burnam Files House Bill 936 To Adjust the Minimum Wage for Inflation
(Austin, TX) – Rep. Lon Burnam (D - Fort Worth) filed HB 936 that will adjust the Texas minimum wage for inflation based on the consumer price index today. This legislation follows on the heals of the U.S. House of Representatives, which passed legislation increasing the federal minimum wage to $7.25 over the next two years.
ʺThe federal government made the important first step in raising the minimum wage,ʺ said Rep. Burnam. ʺThe Texas Legislature needs to take the next step by linking the wage floor to inflation. The workers in this state cannot afford to wait years for lawmakers to raise the minimum wage. We need an automatic increase of the minimum wage tied to the cost of living.ʺ
Burnamʹs legislation would cause the minimum wage floor to automatically adjust each
year based on the consumer price index for urban wage earners and clerical workers as
computed by the United States Department of Labor.
Major opponents to the federal minimum wage increase cited the potential damage to
businesses that are faced with a sudden wage hike. Because Representative Burnamʹs bill adjusts the wage floor each year based on inflation, this legislation will ensure that businesses are protected from sudden wage hikes in the future.
ʺThis bill will eliminate the time spent legislating the minimum wage in the future,ʺ said Burnam. ʺIt gives Texas workers the dignity of a living wage without having to fight for increases during every legislative session. This is a practical and necessary solution to a problem that affects the working poor all across the state of Texas.ʺ
Currently only the states of Oregon, Vermont, and Washington have laws that adjust the minimum wage annually according to measures of inflation.

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