Texas lawmakers debate raising minimum wage

Mar 21, 2017

Democratic state Rep. Senfronia Thompson of Houston, here in a 2013 file photo, has submitted a bill that would increase the state’s minimum wage to $10.10 an hour in stages.
Credit Ralph Barrera / Austin American-Statesman

Texas Legislators clashed this week in Austin over whether to raise the state’s minimum wage.

As The Austin American-Statesman reports, Republicans praised the current rate as an efficient entry-level pay rate, while Democrats called the hourly wage a “misery rate,” too low for anyone to live on.

A number of bills have been introduced this session to deal with the minimum-wage issue. One bill would raise the rate from its current $7.25 to $10.10 an hour. Another proposes to raise the rate to $15 an hour. Yet another bill would put the matter before voters.

Supporters of a raise noted that Texas’s minimum wage would be almost $19 per hour if the rate had simply kept pace with increases in productivity over the past half century.

Texas has not seen a raise in the minimum wage in eight years, while prices for goods and services have continued to rise over that period.