Nathan shares good news for workers in Wisconsin, where my mother's parents lived and worked as immigrants from Lithuania after the Holocaust: Governor Jim Doyle today vetoed legislation that would prevent the city of Madison or any other community in the state from setting a higher minimum wage than the standard set by the state. In vetoing Assembly Bill 633, the Governor said: "I still believe an adequate statewide minimum wage is the best policy. Substantial minimum wage disparities between communities may adversely impact economic development and foster uncertainty among businesses trying to plan investments and create jobs. However, with a minimum wage of $5.15 an hour, I can understand why localities believe that they need to raise the minimum wage. Until Republicans in the Legislature join with the consensus of business, labor, and community leaders and support raising Wisconsin's minimum wage, I see no reason to sign this bill." Governor Doyle has called for an increase in the minimum wage as part of his "Grow Wisconsin" plan. With strong support from business, labor, and community representatives, the Minimum Wage Advisory Council voted 16-2 on March 1, 2004 to increase the state's minimum wage to $6.50 an hour over the next two years. The Department of Workforce Development estimates that 101,000 individuals will benefit in the first year and 150,000 in the second year by the increases in the minimum wage.


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