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Reaction to Minimum Wage Increase Proposal

Posted at: 02/13/2013 7:08 PM
By: Brittany Lewis

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- In Tuesday night's State of the Union address, President Obama talked about everything from gun control, to war, and the economy. One thing that stuck out for many, is the President's proposal to increase the federal minimum wage.

Jason Brehmer is the co-owner of BB's Pizzaria in Rochester, and while running a restaurant can be exciting, Brehmer says that when it comes time to sit down and pay the bills, things can get stressful.

"Every day is stressful. Everybody's got their hand in your pocket," said Brehmer.

His restaurant employs around twenty people, and some of them make just over minimum wage.

"It'd be nice for people to make more money, but where am I going to get that money to pay the people more money?" said Brehmer.     

Now, President Obama is proposing a change to the federal minimum wage. Right now, it's at $7.25 an hour. If the President has his way, that will change to $9.00 in 2015.

People looking for work say it's a good idea.

"That'd be great. It would be great to really help out especially if you have a family to support and things like that," said Brehmer.

Mike Haney, with the Workforce Development Center in Rochester says it will also help the economy.

"People tend to forget that. They always think of their salaries are being raised up, but when their salaries are raised up, they're better consumers," said Haney.

Brehmer says even if it's good in the long run, it will still affect his business, and could leave his employees with even less money.

"Based on our payroll and what we've got and the numbers we have to meet, it would probably cause me to cut some people's hours back and work more myself," said Brehmer.

Minnesota Democrats are working on a bill that would make the state minimum wage $9.50 an hour.