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Lawmakers push proposal to raise minimum wage in Nevada

CARSON CITY — Nevada’s minimum wage would increase 75 cents per hour in each of the next five years under a bill introduced Tuesday in the state Senate.

Raising the minimum wage is a priority for the Democrat-controlled Legislature. Senate Bill 106 also comes after a proposed constitutional amendment to raise the minimum wage and abolish Nevada’s two-tiered rate scale was withdrawn last year.

Existing law sets the minimum wage at $7.25 per hour if an employer offers health insurance and $8.25 if no insurance is offered.

The bill introduced Tuesday is sponsored by the Senate Committee on Commerce, Labor and Energy. It would gradually increase the minimums by 75 cents each year for five years, setting new minimums of $11 per hour if insurance is offered and $12 if it is not. It does not address the different rates for employers who do or do not offer insurance.

An initiative petition to change Nevada’s Constitution, raise the minimum wage and abolish the two-tier system was quietly withdrawn last year. Organizers said the timing wasn’t right to try to collect 55,000 signatures during a fierce presidential and U.S. Senate race.

That initiative sought to raise the minimum wage to $9.25 in late 2018, and 75 cents per year after that until it reached $13 in 2024. After that, it proposed annual adjustments based on the federal minimum rate or a cost-of-living index.

Contact Sandra Chereb at schereb@reviewjournal.com or 775-461-3821. Follow @SandraChereb on Twitter.

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