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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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$1 more by 2000

A bill to boost the minimum hourly wage by $1 — from $5.15 to $6.15 — by January 2000 is now before Congress.

The Lutheran Office for Governmental Affairs urges support for this proposal, says Kay A. Bengston, assistant director for public policy advocacy ministry. "You just can't raise a family on $5.15 an hour," she noted in the LOGA Legislative Update. "A single mother with two children working at the current minimum wage earns just $10,700 a year — $2,900 below the poverty line."
The Lutheran Office for Governmental Affairs urges support for this proposal, says Kay A. Bengston, assistant director for public policy advocacy ministry. "You just can't raise a family on $5.15 an hour," she noted in the LOGA Legislative Update. "A single mother with two children working at the current minimum wage earns just $10,700 a year — $2,900 below the poverty line."

Bengston also notes that the $1 increase would actually not raise the real value of the minimum wage to a new level, but rather would restore the real value to the 1981 level. Inflation eroded the real value of the minimum wage by 30 percent during the 1980s, according to the Economic Policy Institute. The real value of the minimum wage peaked in 1968. To equal that level of purchasing power in today's dollars, the wage would be $7.33.

More information about the LOGA support for the minimum wage bill (S 1805 and HR 35-10) is available from the LOGA office: 122 C Street NW, Suite 125, Washington, D.C. 20001-2172; (202) 783-7507; Internet: loga@ecunet.org; Web: www.elca.org/dcs/advocacy/loga.html.


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