Starting Jan 1, Ohio minimum wage increases by 10 cents - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Starting Jan 1, Ohio minimum wage increases by 10 cents

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Starting January 1, minimum wage workers in Ohio and 12 other states will be getting bigger paychecks. Low income workers are getting higher wages in more than a dozen states.

In Ohio, the minimum wage is going up to $7.95 from $7.85. In New York, the minimum wage is going up to $8 from $7.25.

Most of the state increases amount to less than 15 cents. But Connecticut, New York, and Rhode Island are seeing decent bumps, with hikes ranging from 25 cents to 75 cents an hour.

And workers in New Jersey will see their minimum wage go up by $1 an hour.

The hikes come right in the middle of a national debate over low pay. The federal minimum wage is currently $7.25 an hour, and many workers are pushing for more, but lawmakers are split on the issue.

Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) said he thinks raising the minimum wage will have a big impact on people working in Toledo, he knows exactly how much he wants the number to be.

"I think it should be raised to $10.10," he said. "90 cents two different times, raised immediately. 90 cents, and then another 90 cents each year. The tip minimum wage should be 70 percent of the minimum wage over the next few years. That will make a big difference in a lot of people's lives."

Many Republicans believe raising wages would lead to a pullback in hiring.

Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) said Republicans want to look at this debate through the context of "how do you get this economy moving?" and "How do you increase the jobs?"

"About 2 percent of Americans get paid the minimum wage," he said. "Of that group, by the way, less than .3 of 1 percent of Americans are both under poverty, under the line of poverty and on minimum wage. So it is a lot of young people. About 50 percent of them are between 16 and 24 years old. For a lot of them, it's a part-time job. So what you don't want to do is raise the minimum wage to the point that you're actually losing jobs."

A recent ABC/WASHINGTON POST poll shows that two thirds of Americans believe minimum wage workers should be paid more.

President Obama said he supports legislation that would life the federal rate, but the measure faces an uphill battle in Congress.

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