Proposed Bill In Washington State Would Pay Incarcerated Workers Minimum Wage

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) – A Washington state lawmaker who has spent time in prison wants the state to pay incarcerated workers more money for doing their jobs.

The Seattle Times reports state Rep. Tarra Simmons, of Bremerton, is sponsoring House Bill 1024, called the “Real Labor, Real Wages Act,” to raise the wages to the state minimum of $15.74 per hour.

Simmons, believed to be the first formerly incarcerated person elected to the State Legislature, says when she was incarcerated she worked graveyard shifts for less than 42 cents an hour.

If passed, the bill would cost $97.5 million annually.

At least one Republican lawmaker opposed the bill and cited the cost.


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