Minimum wage hike not in final COVID-19 relief bill

The final version of the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill excludes raising the federal minimum wage. Standalone minimum wage legislation could be forthcoming.

The House gave final approval to the American Rescue Plan Act on Wednesday, March 10. The president is expected to sign it.

The U.S. House’s final vote was 220-211. After stripping out the proposed increase in the minimum wage from the package, the U.S. Senate had approved it 50-49 March 6. The U.S. House’s original version passed 219-212 Feb. 27.

Congress had wanted to get the relief bill to the president before March 14, when federal unemployment assistance is set to expire.

The legislation titled the American Rescue Plan includes a $300 per week supplemental unemployment bonus through Sept. 6, $1,400 in direct checks for Americans making under $75,000, lesser checks for those making less than $80,000, money for the ailing restaurant industry and money for vaccine distribution among other provisions.

The U.S. Senate parliamentarian ruled that the $15 an hour by 2025 minimum wage component could not be included in the package based on Senate rules.

Your association will continue to keep you updated about future minimum wage proposals in your weekly Alabama Retail Report.

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