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Rep. Sargent pushes for increased minimum wage

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MADISON (WKOW) -- On Tuesday, Democratic Representative Melissa Sargent re-introduced legislation to raise Wisconsin's minimum wage to $15 an hour.

In 2019, Governor Evers introduced similar legislation, but the Republican-controlled Joint Finance Committee voted it down.

Evers' legislation to raise the minimum wage was part of a larger budget proposal.

Sargent said during a news conference minimum wage workers are the backbone of the community.

"Without these workers' contributions, we would not be able to take our kids to daycare, ensure our family has quality heath care; we wouldn't be able to eat at our favorite restaurants, and we wouldn't be able to attend entertaining events in our community," Sargent said.

Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said it's not the government's place to step in.

"We do not need government to set that rate in every part of the state," Vos said. "It is hard to find anybody who is working at minimum wage because we are seeing such competition, and that's because of the growing economy under Republicans."

Other neighboring states have already promised to raise the minimum wage. In Illinois, Gov. JB Pritzker signed legislation last year to raise the minimum wage to $15 over several years.

California, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York have also adopted similar laws.

Jessica Porter

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