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Minimum wage debated at the Capitol

(Photo By Rob Hyrons/Shutterstock)

A fight is brewing at the Capitol over raising the minimum wage. A bill to raise it is getting bi-partisan support.

Kingsville Republican Dan Lozano has signed on to the bill which would raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour from $7.25. Supporters like Texas AFL-CIO's Rene Lara says wage-earners purchasing power would increase and so would business. "With a minimum wage of $7.25, poverty is a reality for many working Texans. Their hard work is not rewarded as it used to be because the minimum wage has not kept up with inflation."

Texas Labor leaders take their case for raising the minimum wage to the State House. AFL-CIO Legislative Director Rene Lara says even though economy has grown and prospered, the minimum wage at seven twenty five per hour ($7.25) has lagged far behind. "Even though productivity over the last forty years has gone up, if we had kept the minimum wage on track with the rise in productivity, Texas workers would be making $18.42 an hour." 

Lara says raising the minimum wage would benefit the business community and has bi-partisan support. Opponents say it would be more costly for consumers.

Hourly workers and labor leaders are testifying before a house committee about raising the state's minimum wage.  Lara says raising the wage to $15 would be boon for Texas businesses. "Extensive research shows that raising the wages boosts consumer spending and increases purchasing power for low-wage workers. When workers have more money, businesses have more customers."
Lara says the minimum wage has not kept pace with Texas productivity.

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