A new bill being introduced in the Tennessee House of Representatives could potentially increase the state's minimum wage to $12.00/hour over the next four years.
Two lawmakers from Memphis - Senator Sara Kayle and Rep. Jesse Chism, are introducing the bill, which would raise the minimum wage to $9.25 an hour beginning in 2022, with gradual increases each of the following three years, culminating a $12.00/hour minimum wage in 2025.
The current federal minimum wage is $7.25/hour, which has been a controversial topic in political circles over the past several years. Minimum wage hasn't been increased in over a decade, and with rising costs of living, the current wage puts a single person working a full-time job only slightly above the U.S. Poverty line. Someone working 40 hours a week on $7.25 an hour makes $15,080 per year. The poverty line for one person in the household is $12,760, and increases to $17,240 for a household of two.
An increase to $12/hour would increase the annual salary for a full-time minimum wage worker to $24,960, putting them above the poverty line for even a family of three. Of course, the popular argument against an increase in minimum wage is the potential strain it would put on businesses, which could in turn increase inflation or force them to employ less workers.
Either way, the minimum wage topic will continue to be a hot issue unless something changes. The bill to increase it here in Tennessee will be introduced on Tuesday. Would you support a gradual increase?