Tennesseans deserve a livable minimum wage.  But Tennessee does not have a state minimum wage law.  This means that, subject to the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act, Tennessee employers are only required to pay their employees not less than $7.25 per hour.  The last time the Federal minimum wage was increased was in 2009.  

Representative Gloria Johnson (D-Knoxville) and Senator Sara Kyle (D-Memphis) introduced a bill to increase the hourly minimum wage in Tennessee to $20.00.  Because of the Republican supermajority, it failed. 

Here is a reality check about the current minimum wage.  If you work full-time (40 hours a week) for minimum wage, your annual income will be about $15,080, which means your monthly income will be about $1,256.67, which after withholding for Federal income taxes is a bring home of about $1,131 per month.  I honestly do not know how anyone can live on the current minimum wage in the state of Tennessee.

According to Investopedia, historical data seems to support the notion that raising minimum wage to keep pace with inflation would only have “a minimal effect” on inflation.  How is this possible?  There are many reasons, some of which are: well compensated employees work harder and tend to stay with an employer when the employee feels he or she is fairly compensated.  A more stable work force is much more cost effective.  The cost of hiring and training new employees increases the overall labor cost.

According to a report by the Congressional Budget Office, raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025 would raise wages of up to 27.3 million workers and lift 1.3 million families out of poverty. 

I believe Gloria Johnson and Sara Kyle are on the right track.  If elected I will work with them to establish a livable minimum wage in Tennessee.