Last year, Governor Edmund Gerald “Jerry” Brown, Jr. of California passed into law a legislation that would increase the state’s current per-hour minimum wage of $8.00 to $9.00, which will take effect this July. According to a labor lawyer in Los Angeles, it also mandates another wage increase come 2016, in which the minimum wage will be raised to $10.00. With the passage of the law, California was one of the five states that approved an increase in the state minimum wage last year, joining Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Washington, DC.
Now that the nation’s capital and the five aforementioned states have done it, it is expected that a number of states would do the same for this year. In fact, as many as 11 states are on the cusp of passing laws this year that would increase their state minimum wages that would exceed the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, according to the projections of the National Employment Law Project or NELP.
Meanwhile, here are three states that are believed to be in great position to pass such laws anytime this year:
- The State of Hawaii. Currently, the state where the President of the United States was born has a state minimum wage that is exactly the same as the federal minimum wage. This year, it is believed that it will be raising its per-hour rate to $9.25, which would increase each year based on the movement of the Hawaii’s Consumer Price Index (CPI). There is a major consensus between the state’s House and Senate with regard to the approval of the increase, though they thrown in different rates.
- The State of Massachusetts. The Bay State’s minimum wage stands at $8.00. An increase is imminent, and it can happen in any of the two: (1) a ballot initiative would hopefully raise the state’s wage to $10.50, and (2) the state Senate’s members would agree to raise the minimum wage to $11.00.
- The State of Maryland. There is no stopping the Governor of Maryland, Martin O’Malley, in going after the state minimum wage increase. From the current $7.25, it is planned to be raised to either $10.10 per hour (if enough signatures are met in the ballot initiative) or $11.00 (if the Senate approves of the bill).
These only prove how state governments are doing the wage increase by themselves, not waiting for the federal government to act on raising the federal minimum wage. Recently, however, the President himself had already expressed his all-out support for the increase of the federal per-hour rate, from the current $7.25 to $10.10. A lot of people, political and economic analysts alike, will be observing these plans in the coming months.