Alaska House introduces minimum wage bill

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by Your Alaska Link News Team

A state House committee has introduced a bill to raise Alaska's minimum wage.

HB384, from the House Rules Committee, is closely worded to a labor-supported ballot initiative, currently scheduled to appear on the August primary ballot. The ballot measure would increase the minimum wage of $7.75 an hour by $2 an hour over two years and adjust it for inflation after that.

An initiative can be pre-empted if the Legislature passes substantially similar legislation. That happened in 2002, and a year later, lawmakers gutted the law.

The head of the state's largest labor union last week told lawmakers his organization would fight any attempts to pre-empt an initiative vote.

The bill was introduced with just over two weeks before the scheduled end of session.