public-policy article

National Assembly Endorses New Legislation Supporting Human Services

February 13, 2019

The National Assembly has endorsed two recently-introduced pieces of legislation that, if enacted, would help build community well-being. For more information about how your organization can take action to support these bills, please contact Brandon Toth at

Raise the Wage Act (S. 150/H.R. 582)

If enacted, this legislation would immediately raise the federal minimum wage to $8.55, and increase it over the next five years until it reaches $15 an hour in 2024. After 2024, the minimum wage would be adjusted annually based on the annual percentage increase in the median hourly wage for all employees. The Act would also phase out the inequitable sub-minimum wage for tipped workers, which has been frozen at a $2.13 since 1991, and remove the ability for employers to pay workers with disabilities a sub-minimum wage through certificates issued by the Department of Labor. Additionally, the bill would phase out the sub-minimum wage for workers under the age of 20. These policy changes would help create financial stability for lower-earning workers and help communities thrive.

Protecting Sensitive Locations Act (H.R. 1011)

Introduced by Rep. Espaillat (D-NY) the Protecting Sensitive Locations Act would codify and expand the Department of Homeland Security’s sensitive locations policy, which currently restricts immigration enforcement actions in places such as schools, hospitals, and places of worship. Protecting these spaces from immigrant enforcement is critical to ensuring that immigrants and their families are able to carry out the essentials of their everyday lives, such as taking their children to school and seeking out medical care.

Specifically, the legislation would codify the locations listed under the current DHS Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) policy and would expand protection to more locations, including but not limited to: courthouses, public assistance offices, and human service organizations that assist children, pregnant women, and people with disabilities. It also increases accountability by stating when an immigration enforcement action can take place at such a location and requires a report on such actions.