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House Dems urge higher minimum wage in MO

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By AP/KWMU

Jefferson City, MO – A group of Democrats in Jefferson City is working to raise the minimum-wage in Missouri.

Currently, Missouri's minimum matches the federal rate of $5.15 an hour. That figure hasn't changed since 1997.

But many states, including Illinois, since 1997 have adopted their own, higher minimums.

Some Democrats in the Missouri House want the state's rate to increase to $5.70 an hour this year, then to $6.50 an hour next year.

And starting in 2008, their proposal would raise the state's minimum with inflation.

Rep. John Bowman (D-St. Louis) says the current minimum amounts to less than $11,000 a year -- just above the federal poverty level for a single person.

But State Senator John Loudon (R-Ballwin) says Missouri employers would have a competitive disadvantage if the minimum wage exceeded those of states that adhere to the federal level.

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