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Wave of states look to pass $15 minimum wage laws in 2019

Minimum wage protestors. Photo: Pacific Press/Getty Images

A federally mandated minimum-wage increase seems like a long-shot with the GOP-held Senate, so a collection of states are stepping up to help spearhead the "Fight for $15" movement.

Why it matters: Years-long strikes and rallies across the country have paid off, and several states with Democratically-controlled legislatures and governorships have made it easier to institute such policies with the goal of lifting people out of poverty.

Driving the news:

  • Maryland's state legislators overrode Republican Governor Larry Hogan's veto of the minimum wage bill on Thursday. The policy is going to slowly raise the minimum wage from $10.10 to $15 by 2025, reports Vox.
  • New Jersey's Gov. Phil Murphy signed a law earlier this month gradually raising the minimum wage for most workers from $8.85 an hour to $15 by 2024. The state joins California, Massachusetts, New York and the District of Columbia in incrementally increasing the minimum wage to $15.
  • Illinois already fast-tracked its $15 minimum wage bill and will send it to Gov. J.B. Pritzker's desk on Tuesday.
  • Connecticut's party leadership has indicated they will send legislation to Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont's desk this year.

What's next: Delaware, Michigan, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Vermont and Hawaii have also signaled that they will boost their hourly minimum wages later this year. On the national stage, Democrats in Congress introduced a bill on Jan. 16 to increase the federal minimum wage to $15.

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