Friday, May 25, 2007

Increase in the Federal Minimum Wage

Democrats in Congress handed a major victory to low-income workers last night by approving the first increase in the federal minimum wage rate since Bill Clinton was in office. By a vote of 348 to 73, the House approved the measure. Less than two hours later, the wage increase was approved in the Senate, where the vote was 80 to 14.

The measure would raise the minimum wage to $7.25 an hour from $5.15 in three stages over two years. The bill also includes $4.84 billion in tax breaks for businesses, so President Bush said he would sign the measure.

It has been a decade since the federal minimum wage was raised, but four months ago Democrats regained control of Congress. Seven states already have minimum wages higher than $7.25 an hour, but the Arkansas minimum wage is only $6.25. It's time to give Arkansas workers a raise! Now.

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