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Virginia Senate panel kills state minimum wage increase

(WJLA photo)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A Senate panel has killed a proposal to raise Virginia's minimum wage.

The Senate Committee on Commerce and Labor voted 11-to-3 Monday to table a proposal aimed at incrementally raising the state's minimum wage above the current $7.25 an hour to $10.10 an hour by 2017.

Proponents included liberal activists and labor officials. They said raising the state's current minimum wage would help low-income workers escape poverty.

While corporations have enjoyed growing profits rise, they argued that workers' wages have stagnated.

But opponents including business groups said raising the minimum wage would result in higher unemployment and hurt Virginia's business climate.

While raising the minimum wage is a top legislative priority for Democrats, those efforts have little chance of passing the GOP-controlled General Assembly.

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