Sending Office: Honorable Ben Ray Lujan
Sent By:
Tommy.Elms@mail.house.gov

        Request for Cosponsor(s)

115th Cosponsors: Brown, DeSaulnier, Jayapal, Khanna, Krishnamoorthi, Lieu, Lipinski, Napolitano, Norton, Peters, Pingree, Raskin, Roybal-Allard, Sanchez, Sarbanes, Sewell, Smith, Speier, Velazquez.

Endorsed by: Student Veterans of America

Dear Colleague:

Please join us in supporting student veterans throughout the country who are participating in the VA work-study program. Currently, full-time or 3/4-time students who served in the military and are now pursuing a college degree, vocational, or professional
program are eligible to receive a VA work-study allowance for a VA-related work-study job while using their VA education benefits. The hourly wage for the work-study program is the federal or state minimum wage, whichever is higher. However, this does not
account for the 44 localities nationwide that have higher minimum wage standards than their state.

The Wage Adjustment for Veterans Enrolled in School (WAVES) Act would require the VA work-study allowance hourly wage to match the local minimum wage if it is higher than the state minimum wage, ensuring that student veterans are paid fairly for their work. 
No veteran should be better off working a fast food job than working on-campus or at a nearby VA facility serving their fellow veterans.

As an example, a student veteran attending school in the city of Santa Fe would be paid New Mexico’s minimum wage of $7.50. However, the minimum wage in Santa Fe is $11.80. This is a significant difference that impacts our veterans’ ability to focus on their
studies instead of how they are going to make ends meet each month. 

This is not a minimum wage issue; it is a veteran parity issue. Student veterans are currently being underpaid in the following
localities:

ALABAMA: Birmingham

ARIZONA: Flagstaff

CALIFORNIA: Alameda, Belmont, Berkeley, Cupertino, El Cerrito, Emeryville, Fremont, Los Altos, Los Angeles County, Los Angeles, Malibu, Milpitas, Mountain View, Oakland, Palo Alto, Pasadena, Redwood City, Richmond, San Francisco, San Jose, San Leandro, San
Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Monica, Sunnyvale

ILLINOIS: Chicago, Cook County

MAINE: Portland

MARYLAND: Montgomery County, Prince George’s County

MINNESOTA: Minneapolis

NEW MEXICO: Albuquerque, Bernalillo County, Las Cruces, Santa Fe City, Santa Fe County

NEW YORK: Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester Counties, New York City

OREGON: Portland Urban Growth Boundary

WASHINGTON: SeaTac, Seattle, Tacoma

The WAVES Act would support our veterans by ensuring parity as they work to further their education.  Please join us in supporting this legislation, which we plan to introduce the week of Veterans Day (November 11).

Bill text can be found
here

For questions or to join as an original cosponsor, please contact Tommy Elms with Rep. Luján (Tommy.Elms@mail.house.gov) or Maria Martirosyan with Rep. Gomez (Maria.Martirosyan@mail.house.gov). The deadline
for original cosponsors is close of business on Friday, November 8. 

Sincerely,

 

Ben Ray Luján                                Jimmy Gomez

Member of Congress                      Member of Congress

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: Economy, Education, Labor, Veterans

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