Minimum Wage on the Rise?

By: Kara Tsuboi
By: Kara Tsuboi

Every hour, hundreds of hamburgers pass through the hands of these McDonald's employees.

Under Luther Macks' franchises, every single one of them makes more than the federal and state level minimum wage of five dollars and fifteen cents.

"You hire minimum wage, you're going to incur a higher turnover. You bring them in at a halfway decent wage, you save money by keeping them longer," says Mack.

Last November, 68% of Nevada voters approved the first step of a constitutional amendment to adjust the minimum wage to always stand at one dollar more than the federal level, for workers who don't get health benefits from their company.

That ballot initiative would have to be approved a second time in 2006 for the constitution to change.

But in this legislative session, Democratic lawmakers have been pushing to speed up the process and implement the increase THIS fall.

"It's only fair, it's only just, it's what the people want, it's morally right and it makes good economic sense. Let's do it," says Dina Titus, the Senate Minority Leader.

Many people, however, argue that an increase would not only hurt small businesses, but that entry level jobs would be eliminated.

And the increase could be passed on to you, the consumer.

This Wednesday, the Nevada legislature will hold official hearings on whether or not to push forward this proposal.


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