Vt. Senate proposes counter minimum wage bill - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Vt. Senate proposes counter minimum wage bill

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MONTPELIER, Vt. - Vermont state senators have crafted a counterproposal to the House's minimum wage bill.

The Senate measure would incrementally lift the rate, currently at $8.73 an hour, to an even $10 by 2017 and then up to $10.50 by 2018.

It would also set the hourly wage for tipped employees at half of the minimum wage.

Supporters of that approach want to protect the business community from a rapid increase, but some senators worry the end result of the higher wage will be to disqualify the state's lowest earners from some state benefits.

"I don't want to see folks losing ground or getting the ground they're supposed to be making up so diluted that I think we should have at least something teed up for next year in terms of a workup or where this is going for some of these programs," said Sen. Michael Sirotkin, D-Chittenden County.

The House's version would lift the minimum wage to $10.10 by next year, while the governor supports the president's push to hit the same figure by 2017.

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