Nov 9, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Voters approve minimum wage hikes in D.C., Nebraska

Fast-food workers and supporters organized by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) protest outside of a Burger King.

Fast-food workers and supporters protest outside of a Burger King. Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Voters in at least one state and the District of Columbia approved minimum wage increases through ballot measures during the midterm elections.

Why it matters: With the federal minimum wage set at $7.25 per hour since July 2009, at least 30 states and D.C. have passed and implemented minimum wage increases above the federal minimum, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Nebraska: Voters in Nebraska approved a ballot initiative to incrementally increase the state’s minimum wage from its current $9 per hour to $15 over the next four years, AP reports.

  • Nebraskans previously voted in 2014 to increase the state’s minimum wage from $7.25 to $9 by 2016.

Washington, D.C.: Voters in the nation’s capital passed a measure that changes the district’s minimum wage for workers who earn tips, like servers and bartenders, per the Washington Post.

  • Currently, employers can pay less than minimum wage as long as each gratuity-earning employee makes enough tips to meet or exceed $16.10 an hour, which is the district’s current minimum wage.
  • The measure gradually eliminates the credit against tipped wages until its full implementation by 2027, eventually requiring employers to pay $16.10 to all employees regardless of how much they earn in tips.
  • D.C. voters passed a similar measure in 2018, but it was ultimately repealed by the D.C. Council.

The big picture: A total of 26 states and 56 municipalities were set to raise their minimum wage throughout 2022, a record year of increases, Axios’ Kate Marino reports.

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