Bill to boost minimum wage passes Kentucky House

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Minimum Wage

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — The Kentucky House has passed a bill that would gradually raise the state’s minimum wage to $10.10 per hour by 2017.

The measure, sponsored by House Speaker Greg Stumbo, calls for 95-cent increases in three phases. That would incrementally increase the minimum wage from the current $7.25 an hour to $10.10 per hour in July 2017.

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The bill cleared the House on a 56-43 vote after a partisan debate lasting nearly two hours.

Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, said the bill would increase the purchasing power of minimum-wage workers, helping the overall economy. A number of Republican lawmakers said the higher minimum wage would force some employers to cut their work force.

The bill would exempt retail stores, service industries, hotels, motels and restaurants with gross sales under $500,000 per year.