With the federal minimum wage at the same level for nearly a decade, many states, cities, and counties have passed laws to set the local minimum wage laws at a higher level than the federal standard. The last time the federal government acted to increase the national wage floor was the passage of the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007. The law increased the national minimum hourly wage from $5.15 to $7.25, with the last increase taking place in July 2009.
In some cases, lawmakers implemented rules to tie the minimum wage set by law to local inflation. In other cases, voters supported ballot measures to raise minimum wages incrementally until a specific target was hit. High-cost cities like Seattle have taken the lead in implementing these increases, while lawmakers in some states, like Texas, are comfortable letting Washington D.C. set the minimum wage.