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President wants to raise minimum wage to $9 an hour

Updated: Saturday, August 3 2013, 02:33 PM CDT
UNTITLED  -  Part of the president's State Of The Union address was a call to raise the federal minimum wage to nine dollars an hour.

It is sure to be politically divisive especially given the weakness of our economic recovery and continued high levels of joblessness.

Will
One of the more controversial topics in the president's State Of The Union address was the discussion of raising our nation's minimum wage.
There are two sides to this debate. One being the employee, the other the employer.

It's the focus of our WASTE WATCH report.
President
"Tonight, let's declare that in the wealthiest nation on Earth, no one who works full-time should have to live in poverty, and raise the federal minimum wage to $9.00 an hour."

It's an issue politicians have been debating for years.
The president's proposal will almost certainly face stiff opposition.

Many companies that hire low-wage workers like Oops Alley in Pace are strongly opposed to raising the minimum wage.
It increases their cost of business and that cost could end on your receipt.

Scott Tomey/Operations Officer, Oops Alley
"It's a tax to the consumer. Because as you raise the wages, businesses are going to have to raise their fees. Those fees are going to get passed on to the consumer, so the consumer is paying the tax."

The current federal minimum wage translates into $14,500 a year for a full-time employee.
At nine dollars an hour a full-time minimum wage worker would earn roughly $18,000 a year which is still below the poverty level for a family of four.

But for many workers like UWF student Sandra Boyett the proposed increase would be huge.

Sandra Boyett/Server, Oops Alley
"You know that would definitely help me out a lot more. I think it would be awesome."
"If they'd have to lay people off, or not hire as many people, I don't think that's a good thing."
"But I mean I can see both sides definitely."

Scott Tomey/Operations Officer, Oops Alley
"The only person that benefits is the government. The government benefits because their tax revenue is more. Other than that, everything just gets passed on."
 Will
You get the feeling this is just the beginning of the minimum wage debate in Washington DC.

With your Waste Watch report, Will Kennedy, Channel Three News.
 If you have questions or concerns about how government rules affect your bottom line visit weartv.com and click on Waste Watch to tell us about it.President wants to raise minimum wage to $9 an hour


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