HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) _ The Connecticut House of Representatives is debating a bill that would raise the state’s minimum wage by 50 cents over two years.

State Representatives voted to amend the bill during their debate. A final vote is expected Thursday afternoon.

The amended bill calls for increasing the minimum hourly wage from $8.25 to $8.50 effective Jan. 1, and to $8.75 on Jan. 1, 2014. It would Increase the hourly wage for wait staff to $5.80 in 2013.

Additionally, the changes eliminate the original bill’s provision to eventually tie minimum wage increases to inflation.

Democratic Rep. Ezequiel Santiago of Bridgeport says the changes would benefit the 106,000 Connecticut workers currently earning minimum wage.

Republican Rep. John Rigby of Winsted argues that such a meager increase would have little impact on them.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)


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