Some federal contract workers will soon be making $10.10 per hour, up from $7.25, thanks to an executive action to be signed by President Obama. The move could eventually affect more than 2 million employees, but Obama's long-term goal is to increase the minimum wage across the board to $10.10 over three years—a goal he'll address in tonight's State of the Union. Fox News says the executive action is "the first of potentially many" tied to the address. The executive action will only apply to future, not existing, contracts, USA Today notes.
In tonight's address, Obama will push Congress to pass legislation sponsored by Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa and Rep. George Miller of California, which would not only increase the minimum wage but also tie it to inflation and increase the minimum wage for tipped workers for the first time in more than 20 years, the AP reports. The executive actions are one way he's making good on a promise to use presidential authority when Congress won't act. "Hardworking Americans including janitors and construction workers ... will benefit from the Executive Order," says the White House in a statement, as per the Washington Post. "Hardworking people who would benefit from an EO include military base workers who wash dishes, serve food, and do laundry." For seven things you need to know about tonight's State of the Union, click here. (Read more President Obama stories.)