Though its future is uncertain at best, a group of 21 House Democrats on Wednesday wasted little time in introducing legislation to raise the state's minimum wage.
House File 2011 calls for the current $7.25 minimum wage to jump to $7.75 as of July 1, $8.25 as of Jan. 1, 2015, $9 as of July 1, 2015, and $10.10 as of Jan. 1, 2016.
In addition, the bill calls for annual increases to the minimum wage beginning July 1, 2016 by the same percentage as the cost-of-living increase in federal Social Security benefits approved by the Social Security Administration.
An employer would not be required to pay a new employee the applicable hourly wage until the employee has completed 90 calendar days of employment. After the 90 days, the employer would be required to pay the employee the applicable hourly wage as of the date of completion.
Current new hires have a minimum wage of $6.35. That would increase to $6.85 on July 1, $7.35 as of Jan. 1, 2015, $8.10 as of July 1, 2015 and $9.20 as of Jan. 1, 2016.
Lobbyists are lining up for and against the measure along worker/business interest lines. The Iowa Federation of Labor is backing the measure while the Iowa Lodging Association, Iowa Restaurant Association and Iowa Grocery Industry Association all voicing opposition to the bill.
The bill has been sent to a subcommittee of the House Labor Committee.