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Group Wants KS to Raise Minimum Wage

By Maria Carter

Kansas City, MO – Kansas currently has the lowest state minimum wage in the country, but advocates for the poor and disabled are hoping to change that in the coming legislative session. KCUR's Maria Carter reports.

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Some 24,000 Kansas workers make less than the federal minimum wage. Those workers are covered by the state's minimum wage of $2.65 an hour and most work at local, mom-and-pop businesses. The Big Tent Coalition is made up of groups that lobby for the poor and disabled and raising the state's minimum wage is one of the group's top priorities for the coming year. Kansas AFL-CIO spokesman Andy Sanchez points out that nearby states all have minimum wages at or above the federal level.

Andy Sanchez: Colorado, Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Missouri-take a look at the states around us and see higher levels. That's why we support that. We wouldn't support anything that's against economic growth.

In the past, the Republican controlled legislature has rejected increases, citing concerns about raising costs for small businesses.

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