CHARLOTTE, N.C. — North Carolina lawmakers introduced a bill that would raise the state's minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $15 by 2024. 

House Bill 366 is sponsored by 16 Democrats, including Mecklenburg County representatives Mary Belk, Democratic Whip Carla Cunningham, and Carolyn Logan. On Monday, the bill passed its first reading and was reference to a house finance committee. 

The bill states that it would adjust the minimum wage "automatically each year by increases in the cost of living" and would phase out subminimum wage for tipped employees with more than eight years of experience, as well as end the subminimum wage for people with disabilities. 

Under current law, employers must pay tipped employees at least $2.13 an hour as long as each employee earns enough in tips to make up the difference between $2.13 an hour and the minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. 

Minimum wage increases proposed by HB366:

January 1, 2020: $8 per hour
January 1, 2021: $10.35 per hour
January 1, 2022: $12 per hour
January 1, 2023: $13.50 per hour
January 1, 2024: $15 per hour