Press Releases

Statement of Senator Feinstein on the First Increase in the Federal Minimum Wage in a Decade

- Minimum Wage increases today from $5.15 to $5.85 -

Today marks an important step forward in alleviating poverty. Millions of hard-working Americans will finally receive a well-deserved pay raise. The federal minimum wage increase goes into effect today – rising from $5.15 to $5.85 per hour. This is the first increase in a decade.  It is a step that is long overdue.

In fact, today’s increase is the first of three increases which will occur over the next two years. One year from today, it will rise to $6.55 and one year after that, in 2009, it will increase to $7.25. Increasing the federal minimum wage to $7.25 will add nearly $4,400 to a minimum wage worker’s annual income.

The bottom line is this: this two-year increase in the minimum wage will mean the difference between self-sufficiency and living below the poverty line for millions of American families who are struggling to make ends meet. It is an accomplishment for which the Democratic Congress can be very proud.