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Should minimum wage be raised to $9 per hour?

6:25 PM, Feb 13, 2013   |    comments
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Amber Westfall, an employee at The Filling Station in Comstock Park.
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  • GOP pushes back on raising minimum wage
  • COMSTOCK PARK, Mich. (WZZM) - Amber Westfall would welcome a raise. She works at The Filling Station restaurant. On the day after the president proposed raising the minimum wage to $9 an hour by 2015, the low wage worker was skeptical of his belief it would lift many people out of poverty.

    "I think it's a good idea-- it'll help, but I don't think it's gonna make the difference he thinks it's gonna make," Westfall said during a busy lunch hour.

    GVSU economist Paul Sicilan agrees. He says critics and supporters of increasing the minimum wage have little evidence for their beliefs. "The politics of it exaggerate the importance of the policy a lot," Sicilian said Wednesday.

    Michigan's minimum wage is $7.40, above the national average. A Detroit lawmaker, democrat Bert Johnson introduced legislation Wednesday which would raise the state's minimum wage to $10 an hour.

    "It's time that we support workers, support women, support people who are just making it so they can make more," said Johnson.

    President Obama's plan would phase in the minimum wage increase by 2015, with inflation adjusted increases built in after that.

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