By Derrick DePledge
State Sen. Clayton Hee on Friday offered a new draft of a minimum wage bill that would increase the wage to $10.10 an hour by January 2017 and expand the tip credit to 75 cents. Businesses could deduct the tip credit from workers who earn at least $7 above the minimum wage, up from 50 cents.
The draft is the first to show movement on the tip credit by the Senate, which had preferred to keep the tip credit at the existing 25 cents.
Hee had pushed the minimum wage bill into conference committee in the hopes of getting to $10.10. Negotiators will meet again on Friday, the deadline to have bills completed for final votes next week before session adjourns.
But, as a fallback, the Senate could agree to the House version of the bill, which would increase the minimum wage to $10 an hour by January 2018, expand the tip credit to 75 cents, and allow businesses to take the tip credit from workers who earn at least $7 more than the minimum wage.
The state's minimum wage is $7.25 an hour.