Alabama Rep. Sewell drops a minimum wage increase bill as a "practical approach"

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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) -- A new push to increase the minimum wage in Alabama is coming from Capitol Hill. Rep. Terri Sewell (D-AL) introduced legislation Thursday that calls for regionalizing the federal minimum wage standard.

The legislation would calculate a new federal wage scale based on your cost of living and purchasing power. For instance, in 2020 residents living in Tuscaloosa, AL could make a minimum of $9.10 per hour, while those living in New York City, NY would make $12 per hour.

Sewell calls this a practical approach to raising the minimum wage, protecting employers and employees together. She says some Democrats have raised concerns that this could undercut the push for a $15 per hour minimum.

“Generally all of us want a higher minimum wage. I just think that it’s important that we have...that all proposals are considered on the table,” said Sewell.

Under her plan, the minimum wages would increase over time. Her projection has a city like Tuscaloosa at $11.50 per hour by 2024. She is hoping to garner support from both sides of the aisle with this proposal.