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The proposed “training wage” that would lower the minimum wage for new workers would undermine economic security for Washingtonians and weaken our economy.
Under proposals being considered by the Legislature, House Bill 1150 and Senate Bill 5275, new workers could be paid less than the minimum wage ($6.89 per hour instead of $9.19 per hour), for up to 680 hours of work.
Protections for workers, such as the minimum wage, support a strong middle class. Lowering it, particularly at a time when someone is entering or returning to the workforce, would mean individuals and families would not be able to meet basic monthly needs as determined by the state (see graph). A person working 40 hours per week, for example, could only cover 92 percent of basic needs like food and shelter, and a family of four would be able to meet just half (50 percent) of their basic needs.