MADISON – Representative Melissa Sargent (D-Madison) released the following statement announcing LRB-3342/1 to raise the minimum wage in Wisconsin:

“Today I was proud to stand with many of my Legislative colleagues, and most importantly workers of Wisconsin, to introduce legislation to raise the wage in Wisconsin. LRB-3342/1 would increase the state minimum wage for our hardworking friends and neighbors to $15 per hour over a five-year period. After this five-year period, the state would be required to adjust the minimum wage annually to inflation, ensuring that a continued living wage is established for workers across the state.

Here in Wisconsin, we believe in taking care of each other. We believe that putting in an honest day’s work means you earn an honest day’s pay. We believe that when we work hard and play by the rules, we should all have a fighting chance, and that we each do better when we all do better. We believe our economy should work for all of us, not just the top 1 percent, and that our communities are stronger when we’re independent of the government, not dependent upon it.

Most reasonable people would agree that if you are working at least 40 hours per week you should not live in poverty; however, currently one in four Wisconsin workers have poverty-wage jobs. While the federal minimum wage has not increased since 2009, the cost of living in Wisconsin has only continued to rise with exuberant housing, childcare, and healthcare costs, among many others. Wisconsinites are working tirelessly to be able to put food on the table, but our outdated minimum wage system does nothing but hold them back from obtaining true financial security. Wisconsin workers deserve comprehensive reform that puts working people first.

Today I am proud to have introduced legislation to raise the minimum wage in our state, and to raise up Wisconsin workers, families, and communities. I look forward to continuing to advocate for the hardworking Wisconsinites across our state.”

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