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Politicians Plan To Tackle State Minimum Wage

Last updated on Tuesday, December 31, 2013

(UNDATED) - As many as 11 states may consider legislation next year to raise their minimum wage, but an Indiana proposal faces long odds.

Five states passed minimum-wage increases in 2013 which will take effect in the new year. Nine more have laws requiring annual cost-of-living increases. But a majority of states are like Indiana, and follow the federal minimum of $7.25 an hour.

Senate Minority Leader Tim Lanane (D-Anderson) says at least two Senate Democrats plan to introduce bills calling for a 10-dollar-an-hour state minimum wage. It'd be the first such proposal in the General Assembly in six years, and would give Indiana the highest state minimum wage in the nation. Lanane argues with Indiana's economy and household income still trying to gain momentum, a minimum-wage increase would inject more money into the marketplace and help those who need it most.

But Senate Pensions and Labor Chairman Phil Boots (R-Crawfordsville) argues increasing the minimum wage would make it more difficult for small businesses to hire entry-level workers, without benefiting the people it's intended to help. He predicts higher wages would just drive up prices and negate any increased purchasing power.

Washington currently has the highest state minimum wage at $9.19.

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