Arkansas governor opposes bills scaling back wage hike

Arkansas governor opposes bills scaling back wage hike
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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas' Republican governor says he opposes legislative efforts to scale back a minimum wage hike that voters approved last year, a day after a panel endorsed proposals adding exemptions to the increase.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson told members of the Political Animals Club on Wednesday that he believes legislators shouldn't change the voter-backed initiative that gradually raises the state's minimum wage to $11 an hour by 2021. Arkansas' minimum wage increased from $8.50 an hour to $9.25 in January under the measure.

A House panel on Tuesday endorsed bills that would exempt small businesses, some nonprofits and teenagers from the minimum wage increase. That measure is pending before the House. Hutchinson said he thinks the public spoke on the minimum wage when voters approved the increase in November.