Two Democratic legislators, Rep. Melissa Sargent, D-Madison, and Sen. Bob Wirch, D-Somers, introduced a bill Friday to increase the state minimum wage to $15 over the next five years.
Under this bill, the minimum wage would gradually increase to $15 each year over a five-year time period. After the five-year period ends, the bill will require the Department of Workforce Development to adjust minimum wage income annually to match the trends of the current economy.
The two Democratic lawmakers introduced a similar bill together in the last legislative session, but it did not pass.
Sargent admits the bill faces a partisan legislature, but she argues introducing these types of bills can “change the fabric of the state” even though they might not pass because it allows people to think and talk about issues that matter to them.
“The people of Wisconsin are asking for this [minimum wage] bill to be introduced,” Sargent said. “Folks are overwhelmingly saying ‘It’s time to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour.’ It’s my job as a legislator and people’s servant to hear the voices of the people and bring what is that they find important [into] the building to discuss.”
The co-sponsorship period for this bill ends Dec. 1. The bill has not yet been scheduled for a committee hearing.