Sen. Reid Wants to Raise Minimum Wage - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Sen. Reid Wants to Raise Minimum Wage

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Recently, there have been several protests nationwide in support of higher wages for food and retail workers. Now, Nevada Senator Harry Reid is looking to deliver.

Sen. Reid says he wants to pass a minimum wage hike this month.

He made the announcement following a closed meeting on the issue with Democrats on Capitol Hill.

Most Republicans are expected to oppose the increase, but offer a job creation proposal instead.

Congress last approved a minimum wage hike in 2007, up to $7.25 cents nationwide.

Currently, the Silver State's rate is at $8.25 an hour without health benefits, and $7.25 an hour with those benefits according to the Department of Labor. It's important to note, the federal minimum only applies to workers if it's higher than the state minimum.

Nevada Senator Harry Reid released the following statement after the Labor Department reported that the economy added 204,000 jobs in October:

"These numbers show steady growth. This is encouraging, but more work remains to be done until every Nevadan and every American who wants a job can get one. The best way we in Congress can grow our economy is by replacing meat-ax cuts with closing wasteful tax loopholes. I hope that in the weeks ahead, my Republican colleagues will work with us to trade European-style austerity for smart policies that reduce the deficit and spur job growth that benefits all Americans, not just those at the very top. It's time to reinvest in the American economy through policies that rebuild manufacturing and create long-term, high-quality jobs. After years of lurching from crisis to crisis, it is time to give our economy the certainty it needs for strong, sustained growth."

We talked to Nevadans to get their thoughts on the proposal. Those who support it say it will help families who are struggling to make ends meet.

"I'm all for it," said Tori Clow of Reno. "I make minimum wage. I have kids. It's kind of hard to support a family on $8.25 an hour."

"There's a lot of casino workers that find it hard to find adequate housing," said Donna Luchetti of Reno. "Especially, if they have families and meet their families needs on a minimum wage of $7.25 an hour."

Locals who disagree with Senator Reid's proposal say it will push up prices.

"A minimum wage hike is one of the most economy-destroying move they can make," said Jack Oliver of Sparks. "It increases the cost of almost everything that we buy, including the people with minimum wages -- their groceries, their fast food, their clothes, everything goes up because minimum wage goes up."

One man says the hike would take away jobs in the future.

"The problem with raising the minimum wage is some people will get more pay," said James Long of Reno. "The bad part is that some jobs that are on the verge of being economical to automate, it'll put them over the threshold. Their job will be automated and they won't have any job."

So far, there's no decision from Senator Reid on how high to raise the hourly rate.

We'll, of course, be continuing to follow this story and let you know of any updates.


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