Frustration and progress in the legislature

By: - August 29, 2005 5:03 am

Greensboro News & Record 

RALEIGH — Legislators are going to leave Raleigh for the year without raising the minimum wage. That’s frustrating for folks who worked to enact the bill, but this year’s defeat could bear the seeds of next year’s success.

Getting a vote on the House floor is a big step forward for a bill that couldn’t get so much as a committee hearing for more than a decade.

Rep. Alma Adams, a Greensboro Democrat, has been introducing bills that would raise the state’s minimum wage from the federally set level of $5.15 an hour since 1994, when she arrived at the legislature. Until this year, few people paid attention.

But while the wage bill cleared the House this summer, senators failed to take up the measure before declaring the bulk of their work finished for the year, although they plan one more day of work this week. The bill faces uncertain prospects when the General Assembly returns to work in the spring. (more…)

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Chris Fitzsimon

Chris Fitzsimon, Founder and Executive Director of N.C. Policy Watch, writes the Fitzsimon File, delivers a radio commentary broadcast on WRAL-FM and hosts "News and Views," a weekly radio news magazine that airs on multiple stations across North Carolina. [email protected] 919-861-2066