Bill looking to raise Utah's minimum wage gets minimum support

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Utah) - A bill looking to raise Utah's minimum wage, is getting minimum success. The bill would increase the State's minimum wage by three dollars, but so far lawmakers don't think the pay out is worth the price.
SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Utah) - A bill looking to raise Utah's minimum wage, is getting minimum success. The bill would increase the State's minimum wage by three dollars, but so far lawmakers don't think the pay out is worth the price.

A bill that would raise Utah's minimum wage isn't making sense to state lawmakers.

"If I'm purchasing food at McDonald's, does the dollar menu become the $2 menu?" asked Rep. Paul Ray, (R) District 13.

Monday members of Utah's House Health and Human Services Committee voted to push back HB 73 for further study. It would raise Utah's minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.25 an hour, but lawmakers didn't think it added up.

"This cycle of raising the minimum wage always ends up right back where it begins and initially always hurts those who it's intended to benefit," said Rep. Brian M. Greene, (R) District 57.

It's not an issue Utahns see eye to eye.

"Minimum wage keeps people in poverty," said Rep. Lynn Hemingway, (D) District 40, Bill Sponsor.

"An increase in minimum wage for small businesses is a job killer," said Candace Daly, National Federation of Independent Business, Utah State Director.

ABC 4 Utah asked you on our Facebook page - Do you think Utah should raise its minimum wage? We immediately got a stack of responses.

Nancy Bateman Prince: “No... Leave it alone we small business owners are just making it as is right now... Let them get an education and earn the increase as they deserve it through work ethic!”

Margi Lebold: “Yes. The prices we are paying for goods and services keep going up but the wages have been stagnant.”

Christine Renee Kralik: “I'm not sure what effect this will have overall, but being a poor college student who works about 25-30 hours a week and still feels so poor, would gladly accept the pay raise. I don't have a tv or a home phone. I work very hard to pay my rent, gas, food, car stuff, etc. It isn't easy being all by my self.”

Jeannie Squires: “The minimum wage and a living wage are two very different things. Its called minimum for a reason.”

Eric Torman: “It will cause serious issues with the business owners, letting people go or raising prices, hard decision indeed!”

You can see how divided people are on this issue. Just because lawmakers said they're pushing it back doesn't mean it's going away. Legislators are going conduct a study about raising the minimum wage over the summer. It could be back again next year.

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Follow Brian Carlson on Twitter: @briancarlsontv

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