Obama pitches minimum wage hike with Dem governors

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 21, 2014 at 5:06 pm •  Published: February 21, 2014
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"Irrespective of what happens at the federal level, they're going to be moving on these campaigns no matter what," Cooper said. He said in 2013, five states passed legislation to increase their state minimum wage: California, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island.

The Senate is expected to debate a minimum wage bill next month that would increase the current $7.25 an hour federal minimum wage in three increments to $10.10 by 2016, with annual increases reflecting inflation after that. The Congressional Budget Office report released on Tuesday found that without any adjustments to the minimum wage, about 45 million Americans are expected to live below the poverty line in 2016.

Democrats said raising the minimum wage would boost consumer spending, which would help local economies.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat, said he recently asked his state economist why the state had not experienced as much economic growth as desired despite the presence of major companies like Amazon and Boeing.

"Their answer was clear, it's because we have a drag in our economy because of low wage jobs that are not creating consumers who can go out and create the demand we need," Inslee said. He said raising the minimum wage would "remove that anchor" on the economy.

The meeting with Obama came at the start of a weekend gathering of most of the nation's governors for the annual National Governors Association meeting. The long weekend, which will include a White House dinner on Sunday night and a bipartisan meeting with Obama on Monday, will include discussions on economic development, education and health care.

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