Minimum wage increases again in 2005

By KNDU News


USA - TRI-CITIES, WA--It makes workers happy but it also makes some business owners worry. On January 1st, Washington state's minimum wage will go up again. The increase keeps Washington at the top of the list for the highest minimum wage in the nation. The nineteen-cent increase will bring the minimum wage to $7.35 an hour.

It is an ongoing debate whether having the highest minimum wage hinders or helps Washington.

Opponents say its hurting small businesses. Senator Mike Hewitt of Walla Walla supported a bill last year to freeze minimum wage increases.

But supporters say it's the only way some workers are making ends meet.

Voter's approved initiative 688 in 1998 to increase the minimum wage each year based on cost of living increases. Something local business owners are noticing in their books and feeling in their pocket books.

The Tri-City chamber of commerce wants the Tri-Cities to be competitive for business owners. According to the chamber, wage increases may not go along with that.



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