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Update: House Panel Blocks Bill to Raise Minimum Wage

A push to raise the state minimum wage suffered a setback in the Arkansas House on Tuesday.
Update:
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- A push to raise the state minimum wage suffered a setback in the Arkansas House on Tuesday.

The proposal would have raised Arkansas' state minimum wage from $6.25 an hour to $8.25.

Supporters say increasing the minimum wage will help the working poor with the rising cost of gas and groceries, but those speaking against it say it could hurt small businesses and lead to those same employees losing their job.

But the bill sponsor from northeast arkansas pushed hard for enough votes.

"This is not about statistics," Rep. Butch Wilkins said. "You can read statistics and listen to anything you want to hear, there's all kinds of things out there. It's what you choose to believe, with all due respect, to support the families of Arkansas."

The bill needed 11 votes to advance, but it got only five, so there will be no change in minimum wage for now.

Original Story:
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Arkansans could be seeing an increase in minimum wage.

Right now the state minimum wage sits at $6.25 per hour, a full dollar below the federal minimum wage.

Arkansas is one of four states in that situation, but a proposed bill in the House would raise the minimum wage to $8.25.

The sponsor says he's heard from businesses who worry about the cost, but he believes it needs to be raised.

"We are, we're just on the low end of minimum wage," Rep. Butch Wilkins says. "If I thought businesses were going to close over it, I wouldn't be doing this."

Rep. Wilkins will try to get enough votes to advance his bill on Tuesday.
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