WisBusiness: State Senate passes bill to hike minimum wage

By WisBusiness Staff

The Democrat-controlled state Senate — on a party-line vote — has OK’d an increase in the state minimum wage from $6.50 an hour to $7.60 per hour.

The new rate would be implemented in June if passed by the Assembly and signed by the governor.

The bill also would index future minimum wage increases to the rate of inflation.

The bill, which passed Tuesday, was amended to push the start of the indexing back to September rather than June after some employers from programs like summer camps said that the increase would doom their budgets.

Republicans in the Senate said Democrats were starting off the session on the wrong foot as the state struggles with a faltering economy and that the wage increase would force businesses to cut employment.

Gov. Jim Doyle was guarded when asked if he will sign the minimum wage boost bill the Senate approved today, saying he supports raising the minimum wage. But he’ll have to see what bill comes to his desk.

“I have always believed we should have a statewide minimum wage,” he added.