A House panel on Thursday approved legislation to gradually add $1.30 an hour to the $3.35 minimum wage as Democratic leaders said they are willing to compromise with the Bush Administration by adding a reduced “training wage” for new workers.
The move to raise the minimum wage for the first time in eight years was approved on a party-line vote by the House labor standards subcommittee. The bill, similar to one approved Wednesday by the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee, would raise the minimum to $4.65 by 1991.
The Administration wants to increase the minimum wage to $4.25 an hour over three years and insists on the training wage provision allowing the minimum to stay at $3.35 an hour for all newly hired workers’ first six months on the job.
A spokeswoman for Labor Secretary Elizabeth Hanford Dole said the Administration is sticking to its “last offer” and is prepared to veto a more ambitious plan.
House Democrats said they are prepared to include a sub-minimum wage if strict education and training requirements are included, and committee staffers said they are considering a duration of 30 to 90 days.