Minimum wage hike approved by Arkansas Senate committee

LITTLE ROCK (AP) - A committee of the Arkansas state Senate has endorsed a bill to raise the minimum wage in Arkansas from five-fifteen per hour to $6.25 per hour.

The Senate public health, welfare and labor committee endorsed the bill today on a voice vote. The bill must still be approved by the entire Senate, the state house and the governor to become law.

Meanwhile, a group called Arkansans Fighting to Save Our Jobs filed papers with the state Ethics Commission to lobby against the measure.

The group's chairman, Bill Vickery, said the group represents smaller businesses that would be hurt financially by the proposal.

He says the minimum wage proposal would reduce the number of jobs.

Arkansas hasn't seen an increase in the minimum wage since 1997.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)