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By Joe Harris
Fox42, KPTM, Sep 6, 2022

OMAHA—It's a proposal that would raise the state minimum wage in four steps. First, it would take it from $9.00 an hour to $10.50 on Jan. 1. By 2026, it would be $15.00 per hour. This fall, Nebraskans will have the chance to decide the measure's fate at the polls.

The group Nebraska Business for a Fair Minimum Wage supports the idea of raising it. Member Mike Draper, who also owns Raygun stores, said the federal minimum wage hasn't changed in more than a decade.

"It's at $7.25, so it's really this anomaly in the economy that is frozen in time, whereas everything else has increased," Draper said. ... Draper said, if passed, [the Nebraska raise] wouldn't be that much of a shock to many businesses.

"Our starting wage is currently $14.00 an hour and will move up to $15.00 by Oct. 1, so we've already been steadily increasing our wages with time," he said. " ...

Draper said the U.S. economy relies on money circulation, and that a wealth gap slows that down.

"It's probably a larger threat if a lot of the money in your local community is being isolated in fewer and fewer hands, and it moves slower," he said. "That's less of an opportunity for you to gain some of that money as it moves."

He said increasing the minimum wage is a tool to reduce that gap. ...

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