In the face of congressional inaction, the debate on raising the minimum wage is moving to the local level. As more cities and counties consider setting their own wage standards, they can learn from the policy experiments already underway.
Since the mid-1980s, states in every region of the country have raised the local minimum wage, often numerous times. Twenty-one states (and Washington, D.C.) currently have wage floors above the federal level ($7.25), and 11 of these raise them every year to account for inflation. Washington State currently has the highest, at $9.32; California’s is set to increase to $10 on July 1, 2016.