• Battle over state's minimum wage heats up in Olympia

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    OLYMPIA, Wash. - The battle over Washington State’s minimum wage is heating up in Olympia as union groups plan a rally to support three bills currently making their way through the State House.

    The most controversial of the bills is House Bill 1355, which would raise the minimum wage to $12 an hour.

    Currently, Washingtonians are paid the highest minimum wage in the country at $9.47 an hour.

    HB 1355 would raise that to $12 an hour within four years.

    The State House passed the bill earlier this month.  The Senate House and Labor Committee will take it up Monday.
    Some small businesses say it's not as simple as just paying employees more.

    The owner of Stink Meat and Cheese in Tacoma told KIRO 7 half her workers already make $12 an hour, and servers make less but get tips.

    She wants the bill to take that into account.

    “Because right now, all of my employees make more than $12 an hour if you include tips,” said business owner Kris Blondin.
    KIRO 7 also talked to the Tacoma/Pierce County Chamber of Commerce. It said small businesses would be hurt by the minimum wage increase.

    The Senate Commerce and Labor Committee will be arguing this bill Monday and possibly Tuesday.


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