Anchorage Democratic senator proposes $15 minimum wage

JUNEAU — An Anchorage Democratic senator is proposing that the state increase its minimum wage to $15 an hour.

The proposal is included in legislation from Sen. Johnny Ellis. The bill also calls for an annual report on pay practices in Alaska. It was released Friday in a wave of measures filed ahead of the upcoming legislative session.

Voters in 2014 approved increasing Alaska's minimum wage from $7.75 an hour. Under the initiative, the minimum wage rose to $8.75 an hour last year and to $9.75 an hour as of Jan. 1.

The increase proposed in the bill, if approved, would take effect Jan. 1, 2017. That would make Alaska's minimum wage the highest among states, according to a review of scheduled wage increases compiled by the National Conference of State Legislatures.