OK House Panel Rejects Wage Increase

2-15-06- Members of a legislative committee Wednesday rejected a proposed $1 increase in Oklahoma's minimum wage. The House Business and Economic Development Committee voted 5-3 along party lines to kill a bill to raise the minimum wage to $6.15 an hour.

The five Republican members of the committee voted against the bill and the three Democrats voted for it. Democratic Representative Richard Morrissette of Oklahoma City argued that raising the minimum wage will help fight poverty in the state. He says minimum wage earners receive less than $11,000 a year and the increase would raise their salaries by about $2,000.

Opponents say raising minimum wages will increase costs for businesses. They also argue that almost all businesses in the state already pay more than the minimum wage.


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