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Minimum wage bill headed to conference committee


The state Senate has opted to go to conference committee with the state House on a minimum wage bill.

Senate leaders had wanted to accept the House version of the bill, which would increase the minimum wage to $10 an hour by January 2018 and expand the tip credit to 75 cents. Businesses could deduct the tip credit from workers who earn at least $7 more than the minimum wage, up from 50 cents.

But after a private caucus on Thursday, senators decided to go to conference. Sources say the vote was 12 to 11.

Sen. Clayton Hee, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary and Labor Committee, has wanted to increase the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour by January 2017.

The state’s $7.25 an hour minimum wage has not been increased since 2007. The tip credit is 25 cents.

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