Joined at a press conference by top Democratic congressional leaders, Winter Park’s U.S. Rep Stephanie Murphy helped introduce a bill Wednesday that would seek to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2024.
The bill would raise the minimum wage incrementally from where it has been at for the past decade, $7.25 an hour.
“Over the last decade, most working families have seen an increase in the cost of almost everything they need, yet their wages have barely moved,” Murphy stated in a news release. “No person who has the dignity of a full-time job should face the indignity of not being able to provide for themselves and their loved ones. This bill will finally give hardworking families in central Florida a much-needed raise—putting more money in their pockets to spend at small businesses and helping to grow our economy for everyone.”
Murphy was part of a A-team list of Democrats that announced the “Raise the Wage Act” Wednesday, along with the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California, Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer of New York, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland, and U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan of Wisconsin, who is chair of the House Progressive Caucus.
A similar bill was introduced in the last session and went nowhere. This one is likely to get traction in the House of Representatives, now controlled by Democrats, as evidenced by the appearance of leadership at Wednesday’s announcement, but would have no chance of passage in the U.S. Senate.
Murphy’s office argued that the increased minimum wage would be good for the Orlando area, citing its relatively high cost of living and the lowest median income of the 50 largest metropolitan areas in the country.
Florida’s minimum wage just went up to $8.46 an hour, which Murphy’s office declared is not sufficient for workers in Orange or Seminole counties to support their families.