H. R. 3041
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
June 25, 2009
Mr. Al Green of Texas (for himself, Ms. Lee of California, Mr. Honda, and Ms. Velázquez) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Education and Labor
To amend the Fair Labor Standards Act to provide for the calculation of the minimum wage based on the Federal poverty threshold for a family of 2, as determined by the Census Bureau.
This Act may be cited as the
Living American Wage (LAW) Act of
Findings; sense of Congress
Congress finds the following:
In 2007, there were over 37,000,000 Americans living in poverty who were separated from the opportunities of the Nation by their income, their housing, and their access to education, jobs, and health care.
A full-time worker earning the Federal minimum wage earns an income below the Federal poverty threshold for a family of 2, consisting of 1 adult and 1 child.
The average fair market rent for a 1-bedroom apartment is more than 60 percent of the monthly income of a full-time worker earning the minimum wage. In comparison, the generally accepted definition of affordability is for a household to pay not more than 30 percent of its income on housing.
Two full-time workers earning the Federal minimum wage earn an income below the national housing wage for a 1-bedroom apartment, the amount a person needs to earn to afford a 1-bedroom apartment at average rent.
Sense of Congress
It is the sense of Congress that—
the Federal minimum wage should, as a minimum, be adjusted every 4 years so that a person working for such a wage may earn an annual income that is not less than 15 percent higher than the Federal poverty threshold for a family of 2, as determined by the Census Bureau;
the minimum wage should be set at a level high enough to allow 2 full-time minimum wage workers to earn an income above the national housing wage; and
Congress, any of the several States, the District of Columbia, any Territory or possession of the United States, any Indian tribe, or any local or municipal government of a State may establish a higher minimum wage requirement than that established in this Act.
Section 6 of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 is amended—
in subsection (a)(1)—
and at the end of subparagraph (B);
and at the end of subparagraph (C); and
by inserting at the end the following:
not less than the amount determined by the Secretary under subsection (b) beginning September 1, 2011;
by redesignating subsection (b) as subsection (c) and inserting after subsection (a) the following:
Not later than June 1, 2010, and once every 4 years thereafter, the Secretary shall determine the minimum wage rate applicable under subsection (a)(1) based on the formula described in paragraph (2). The Secretary shall publish such wage rate in the Federal Register not later than October 1 of each year. If such determination results in a lower minimum wage than that then in effect, the Secretary shall not adjust the minimum wage then in effect pursuant to this subsection.
The minimum wage rate determined by the Secretary under paragraph (1) shall be the minimum hourly wage sufficient for a person working for such wage 40 hours per week, 52 weeks per year, to earn an annual income in an amount that is 15 percent higher than the Federal poverty threshold for a family of 2, with one child under the age of 18, and living in the 48 contiguous States, as published for each such year by the Census Bureau.