Minimum Wage Hike Proposal Stirring Strong Feelings, Pro And Con

By Jeff Neumeyer

November 11, 2013 Updated Nov 11, 2013 at 6:26 PM EDT

NORTHEAST Ind. (21ALIVE) --- Should the federal minimum wage go up by almost $3.00 an hour?

A Congressional bill promoting such a change has supporters and detractors in our area.

If the bill, backed by the White House, becomes law, the minimum wage would jump from $7.25 an hour, to $10.10 per hour.

DeBrand Fine Chocolates already pays its workers more than the current minimum wage of $7.25.

The company is not taking a position yet on the wage hike proposal.

But the owner of "Z-Place", a restaurant in Huntington, says increasing the rate by such a large amount would cripple many small businesses.

But others feel it's time to ensure more people earn a living wage.

" I think it'd be a lot better, because it would help the poor become, not unpoor, but more successful and have more left over money after paying all the bills," said Stephen Applegate of Huntington.

" Places like mine will cease to exist, there'll be a larger level of unemployment, people will be out of work again," said Larry Kreider of Z-Place.

Republicans back in March voted down a minimum wage hike to $10.10.

But there is some sense that Republicans might be under more pressure to say yes this time around.

A new Hart Research poll found that 80 percent of Americans support increasing the minimum to $10.10 an hour.

GOP Senators and Congressional reps might be hesitant to shoot the new proposal down, if they fear that will anger moderate-income "undecided" voters in the mid-term elections next year.

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