WASHINGTON — President Obama pledged in his 2013 State of the Union message to pursue a minimum wage increase nationwide, an issue all but forgotten since his first White House run. Declaring that “no one who works full time should have to live in poverty,’’ Obama called for boosting the hourly minimum to $9.
Nearly a year later, that goal remains unfulfilled, derailed by a slowly recovering economy and opposition from Republicans in Congress. So with the federal rate stuck at $7.25 and few prospects for change, the real focal point for wage battles in 2014 is moving to individual states.
Twelve states and the District of Columbia will be considering minimum wage hikes this year through legislation or ballot initiatives. That includes Massachusetts, where advocates are trying to increase the minimum wage from the current $8 to $11 an hour over three years.