Tennessee minimum wage could rise to $20 an hour if new bill passes


The bill, HB 2602/SB 2646, was introduced by Representative Gloria Johnson, D-Knoxville and Senator Sara Kyle, D-Memphis on Jan. 31st which aims to increase the hourly minimum wage in the state.

The Tennessee minimum wage could rise from $7.25 an hour to $20 if a new bill passes in the General Assembly.

“As introduced, increases the hourly minimum wage to $20.00, or the federal minimum wage established pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, whichever rate is greater,” the bill reads.

Tennessee is one of seven states that either has no minimum wage or has a minimum wage of less than $7.25 per hour, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Thirteen states have a minimum wage equalling the federal minimum wage. Washington State has the highest minimum wage of any state at $16.28 per hour.17 hours ago

Representative Gloria Johnson released the following statement on her social media on February 22nd:

"Our state deserves a living wage!

I've introduced a bill to raise the minimum wage in Tennessee from $7.25 to $20 per hour, and I'll advocate the same in Congress as your next senator.

If you support this, sign on below to endorse my minimum wage increase legislation today."

Johnson said the bill will not likely pass due to opposition by the Republican supermajority, but significant minimum wage change is needed because she does not consider the current level a livable wage in the state. Rep. Johnson said if this bill doesn’t pass in Tennessee, she would push for similar legislation if elected to the Senate.

Campaign managers for republican Sen. Marsha Blackburn, Johnson’s likely opposition in the general election, sent WSMV4 a statement about the bill.

"Gloria Johnson is as woke as they come, so it’s no surprise this radical socialist is trying to out-liberal Joe Biden’s minimum wage executive order,” the statement said. “It’s a clear sign she puts the liberal woke agenda and PR stunts before Tennesseans. Meanwhile, Senator Blackburn will continue to protect Tennessee and America and secure a strong economy.”