Raising the Minimum Wage
Author: Rep Trey Martinez Fischer
HB 3922, one of Rep. Martinez Fischer’s most important pieces of legislation introduced this year, would gradually increase the statewide minimum wage to $15 an hour over the next several years and bring workers wages in line with the 21st century. Over the past 50 years, and workers have increased the amount they produce from each hour of work, with productivity nearly doubling since the late 1960s – yet wages have not kept pace. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that if the minimum wage had been raised at the same pace as productivity growth since the late 1960s, it would be over $20 an hour today, which means today’s low-wage workers earn less per hour than their counterparts did 50 years ago.
Though state law prohibits cities from raising the minimum wage in their cities by ordinance, many have raised wages for their city employees. In San Antonio, the minimum wage for city workers has increased over the past three years, from $11.47 to $14.25 an hour, and the city council has pledged to hit the $15 an hour mark by 2019. The City of Austin raised the minimum wage for full-time city employees from $13.84 to $15 an hour this year.
HB 3922 bill would affect millions of Texans currently making less than $15 an hour, making it easier for hardworking, everyday Texans to make ends meet as well as make the Texas job market much more attractive to out-of-state employees looking to get paid a living wage, further growing the Texas economy. With the largest population of minimum wage workers in the nation, millions of Texans would finally be able to live a life of dignity and afford to live in the Lone Star state.