Washington, DC, Mar 20, 2013 — Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is making the case that New York's proposed minimum wage increase to $9 an hour is actually not enough. She is co-sponsoring a bill to raise the minimum wage nationwide to $10.10 an hour.
"We assessed where would the minimum wage be if it were linked to inflation from its high point in the 1960s," says Gillibrand, and that would be worth over $10.50, so we tried to create a wage that was closer to where we think it should be, and that’s $10.10 over the next three years."
Speaking to reporters over the phone Tuesday, Gillibrand acknowledged that her bill will be a tough sell in the ideologically divided Congress. But she said if it passed, it would supersede the increase New York’s legislature appears set to pass.
Gillibrand said the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour leaves many families working full-time well below the poverty line. "Hundreds of thousands of hard-working full-time families are living in poverty that don’t have to," says Gillibrand, "which also limits the potential for growth of local economies in every corner of our state."
Gillibrand says the increase would help some 38,000 workers in the North Country. She also says it would help women. More than 54% of minimum wage earners are women.