Anchorage senator proposes $15 minimum wage for Alaska
A week and a half after the Alaska’s minimum wage went up by a dollar, a new proposal put forward would increase it even more.
Sen. Johnny Ellis, D-Anchorage, wants to make Alaska’s minimum wage the highest in the country. Senate Bill 122 calls for a minimum wage of $15 per hour — about $5 to $7 higher than the minimum wage in other states.
Just to give you an idea of how Alaska currently compares to the rest of the United States, the red states on the map above currently have the lowest minimum wages: $7.25 to $7.99 per hour. Many states, like Texas, Virginia and Mississippi, have been sitting at the federal minimum of $7.25.
The states in yellow range from $8 to $8.99 per hour.
And Alaska already does well, joining the smaller number of states in green that pay $9 more per hour. Minimum wage for Alaskans is now $9.75 an hour — up $2 from 2014. California and Massachusetts currently pay the most, at $10 an hour.
While SB 122 would make Alaska the first state to raise the minimum wage to $15, several large cities have already decided on it. San Francisco will be the first to do so in 2018, followed by Los Angeles in 2020 and Seattle in 2022. And a $15 an hour minimum wage has already been proposed in New York City and Washington D.C..
If the bill becomes law, it would take effect on January 1, 2017 and the $15 per hour amount would be adjusted annually with inflation.
The bill also calls for a mandatory annual report on fair pay practices in Alaska to be made available to the public.
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