House panel passes bill to boost Kentucky minimum wage

Minimum Wage

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky House committee has approved a bill to increase the state’s minimum wage as House Speaker Greg Stumbo renews his push to boost pay for low-wage workers.

The bill cleared the House Labor and Industry Committee Thursday. It’s similar to last year’s proposal that passed the House but died in the Senate.

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This year’s bill seeks to gradually raise the minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.10 per hour in July 2017. Stumbo says about 400,000 Kentuckians earn less than $10.10 an hour.

He says many minimum-wage workers are women trying to support their families.

The bill would exempt retail stores, service businesses, hotels, motels and restaurants with annual gross sales under $500,000 per year. Still, business representatives said the bill would be a hardship for employers.