Disagreement among Democrats could kill minimum wage bill

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Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk says it's unlikely that an increase in Minnesota's minimum wage will be approved this session.

Bakk tells the Associated Press that Democrats in both chambers can't agree on how much to raise the wage and there aren't enough votes among Senate Democrats to pass the $9.50 minimum wage sought by House Democrats.

Last week, the Minnesota Senate approved a bill that would have increased the state's minimum wage to $7.75 an hour by 2015.

The state's current minimum wage $6.15 an hour, but most workers at that level qualify for the federal rate of $7.25.

DFL Rep. Ryan Winkler, the chief House author of the measure, tells MinnPost that House members have already compromised by reducing the proposed wage hike and said once the Senate gets close to the House position, they’ll have a bill.

MinnPost says raising the state's minimum wage, a key priority for Democrats, may be the casualty of the last-minute rush to finalize the state budget. However, key stakeholders, such as the Minnesota AFL-CIO, are pushing for a resolution this year.

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