Proposal would roll back wage hike for some Arkansas workers

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Two Republican lawmakers in Arkansas are proposing exempting school employees, people under 18 and others from voter-backed increases in the state’s minimum wage.

The bill filed by Sen. Bob Ballinger and Rep. Frances Cavenaugh on Wednesday comes two months after Arkansas voters approved an initiative to gradually raise the state’s minimum wage to $11 an hour by 2021. The state’s minimum wage rose from $8.50 an hour to $9.25 an hour on Jan. 1.

The proposal would exempt employees at public and private schools, including colleges and universities, and workers under 18. It would also exempt workers at businesses that employ fewer than 50 full-time employees.

The exempted workers would be subject to the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.

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