House Democrats in the Iowa House have approved a minimum wage increase. The bill, House File 1, raises Iowa’s minimum wage by $2.10 per hour and will be the first increase in nearly a decade. According to a study released last year by an Iowa research organization, 75% of the 270,000 Iowa workers who will benefit from an increase are adults, 58% are female and 20% are parents to 94,000 children.

In addition, 42% work full-time and 34% work at least 20 hours per week. House File 1 increases the minimum wage from $5.15 per hour over the next two years. On April 1, 2007 it will rise to $6.20 per hour and then rise to $7.25 an hour on January 1, 2008. The bill also increases the 90 day training wage by $2.10 in two phases and increases the tip wage for wait staff by the same percent increase, eventually raising it to $4.35.

This is just the first step in our ‘Plan for Prosperity’ for House Democrats which balances the interests of both businesses and workers. House Democrats look forward to continuing work on proposals that will help small businesses get better insurance rates through purchasing pools, reduce commercial property taxes on Iowa businesses, and expand job training opportunities. The Senate is expected to approve the bill later this week.