State Rep. Pat Boy (D-Michigan City) today responded to concerns raised by the Indiana Restaurant and Lodging Association on increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour for all employees, including those who receive tips.

“I understand the concerns of local servers and other tip workers, whose tips may work out to be more than $15 an hour some days, and hope my bill offers a compromise,” Boy said.

Boy has introduced House Bill 1345, which would raise both the minimum wage and the cash wage paid to tipped workers incrementally over the next three years. If passed, the bill would raise the minimum wage to $11 an hour and the cash wage to $6.85 an hour by December 2024, followed by annual cost of living increases.

There were 32,000 Hoosiers who were reported as making minimum or sub-minimum wage in 2019. A significant portion of those Hoosiers making sub-minimum wage are workers with disabilities, whose employers are allowed to pay sub-minimum wage due to a loophole in federal legislation.

“Minimum wage 12 years ago was a minimum for people to get by,” Boy added. “12 years later, it’s not even worth what sub-minimum would have been. I want to offer Hoosier workers with disabilities a voice in this conversation without infringing on the livelihoods of others. This is why I included both a general minimum wage increase and a cash wage increase in this legislation.

“This legislation would not only work to resolve serious wage issues today, but lay the groundwork for adjusting to the cost of living in 2024 and beyond.”

House Bill 1345 has been referred to the House Committee on Employment, Labor and Pensions and awaits to be scheduled for a hearing.