Proposal to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 bill passes House committee

01/30/2014 01:43 PM

The House Democrats’ top priority bill — to raise the minimum wage — made it through a House committee Thursday despite the protests of several business owners who described it as a bank-busting move.

The House Labor and Industry Committee passed the bill with a 15 to 1 vote. Two Republicans passed. Rep. Adam Koeing, R-Erlanger, was the no vote.

House Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, said the bill is a way to invest in the middle class of Kentucky by moving the minimum wage from $7.25 per-hour to $10.10 an hour over a three year period.

Similar federal legislation has been promoted by President Barack Obama, but it has stalled in Congress. Kentucky last moved the minimum wage in 2007.

Stumbo testified that the legislation will only affect businesses that make more than $190,000 per-year.

But some business owners said the measure will have devastating effects to their bottom-lines. Among them was Lee Greer, the president of Greer Companies that owns the Cheddar’s line of restaurants as well as several hotels. Greer said if the bill is made law and the minimum wage is raised it will bankrupt his company.

“We will be out of business and 2,000 Kentuckians and hard working families and 6,100 American families will lose their jobs,” Greer said.

Greer also said that businesses are already burdened by taxation and an increase from the Affordable Care Act.

Stumbo told the committee that he didn’t believe the law would cause anyone to declare bankruptcy. The measure now moves to the full House.


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