State Capitol, Room 204
Juneau, AK 99801-1182
Phone: (907) 465-3777
Fax: (907) 465-2819
10928 Eagle River Road, Suite 141
Eagle River, AK 99577
Phone: (907) 694-8944
Fax: (907) 694-8945
An Act relating to minimum wages.
March 5, 2002
Linda Sylvester, Legislative Aide to Rep. Pete Kott, at (907) 465-3777
Dating back to 1938 when the United States established the Fair Labor Standards Act, Americans have believed that it is entirely appropriate for the government to establish a minimum wage floor for workers. Immediately following statehood, Alaska statute echoed that conviction by declaring its own policy in the preamble of the Wage and Hour Act of 1959:
It is the public policy of the state to:
establish minimum wage and overtime compensation standards for workers at
levels consistent with their health, efficiency, and general well-being, and
safeguard existing minimum wage and overtime compensation standards that
are adequate to maintain the health, efficiency, and general well-being of
workers against unfair competition of wage and hour standards that do not
provide adequate standards of living.
Over the years, Alaska has lost sight of that commitment to its lowest paid workers and the time is now to correct this. HB 56 changes to Alaska's minimum wage statute so that it more adequately provides for a fair minimum wage to Alaska's lowest paid workers. Last year, thousands of Alaskans voiced their support for raising the floor as well as adding a cost of living adjustment.
The Alaska Legislature and the overwhelming majority of Alaskan residents are in agreement with the following findings:
An increase in the minimum wage will help ensure a minimum standard of
living for the health, safety, and well-being of every Alaskan.
The Legislature notes that currently, Washington, Oregon and California
have surpassed Alaska in providing for a minimum standard of living for
Finally, the Legislature finds that for a minimum wage to be fair, it must
be indexed to the cost of living to help low-income workers keep pace with
This bill amends section 2 (a) so that
effective January 1, 2003, an employer shall pay each employee wages at a
rate of not less than $7.15 an hour, for hours worked in a pay period.
As well, each year, not later than September 30, the Department shall
adjust the minimum wage for inflation based upon the CPI of Anchorage, or
$1.00 more than the federal minimum wage, whichever is greater effective
the following year.
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