Proposed Bill to “RAISE” Incentives for Higher Wages

Daytona Everett

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New legislation could soon be putting more money in the pockets of businesses that increase wages for their employees. The Rewarding American Investment to Support Employees (RAISE) Act provides incentives for businesses to give their employees a raise.

Proponents say it’s all an effort to spark the economy and allow cities with small businesses, like the Coachella Valley, to keep up with demand.

“The highs are high, the lows are low,” owner of Brandini Toffee, Brandon Weimer, said. “This business is our baby and we want to keep it not only alive, but keep it growing.”

To keep small businesses flourishing, Rep. Raul Ruiz is raising awareness for the new legislation.

“It’s going to help small businesses give raises to their employees by giving them ten percent tax credit to their payroll increase,” Ruiz said.

Weimer said the RAISE Act could end up putting another $7,000 in the company’s pocket at the end of the year.

California’s minimum wage is set to increase yearly until 2023 until it becomes fifteen dollars per hour.

“RAISE would just be an incentive perhaps to do it ahead of time,” Weimer said.

“It’s going to ease that transition for small businesses here locally,” Ruiz said.

The Congressional Budget Office would need to score how much it would cost, Ruiz said. Plus, prices might get bumped up.

“There is an expense to that, there are climbing prices in California and there’s a lot of things that change over time,” Weimer said.

Brandini Toffee employees said reaping the rewards of higher wages gives them an opportunity to work longer.

“I am a full-time student so that also helps as well,” Maria Ceja, a Brandini Toffee employee, said. “I am excited.”

Congressman Ruiz said he’s hoping to get the RAISE Act passed the next congressional session. Until then, businesses will continue to raise the minimum wage by fifty cents to a dollar every year with no incentives.

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