AUSTIN - State Rep. Lon Burnam, D-Fort Worth, filed House Bill 936 on Monday that will adjust the Texas minimum wage for inflation based on the consumer price index today.
This legislation follows action by the U.S. House of Representatives, which passed legislation increasing the federal minimum wage to $7.25 over the next two years.
“The federal government made the important first step in raising the minimum wage,” Burnam said. “The Texas Legislature needs to take the next step by linking the wage floor to inflation. The workers in this state cannot afford to wait years for lawmakers to raise the minimum wage. We need an automatic increase of the minimum wage tied to the cost of living.”
Burnam’s legislation would cause the minimum wage floor to automatically adjust each year based on the consumer price index for urban wage earners and clerical workers as computed by the U.S. Department of Labor.
Major opponents to the federal minimum wage increase cited the potential damage to businesses that are faced with a sudden wage hike.
Burnam said his bill adjusts the wage floor each year based on inflation, and that the legislation will ensure that businesses are protected from sudden wage hikes in the future.
“This bill will eliminate the time spent legislating the minimum wage in the future,” Burnam said. “It gives Texas workers the dignity of a living wage without having to fight for increases during every legislative session. This is a practical and necessary solution to a problem that affects the working poor all across the state of Texas.”
Currently, only the states of Oregon, Vermont and Washington have laws that adjust the minimum wage annually according to measures of inflation.