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North Dakota lawmakers vote down minimum wage increase

BISMARCK -- The North Dakota House voted down a $2 increase in the state’s hourly minimum wage Monday, Feb. 6.

House Bill 1263 would have increased the state’s minimum wage from $7.25 to $9.25 an hour starting in 2018 with annual adjustments for cost of living increases beginning a year after that.

Primary sponsor Rep. Marvin Nelson, D-Rolla, said costs for things such as rent have gone up in recent years without a boost in the minimum wage.

People representing business associations testified against the bill last week, arguing both the free market and a demand for workers were keeping wages high in North Dakota.

North Dakota’s minimum wage is consistent with the federal government’s but is below the standard set by neighboring states.

The bill failed on a 13-77 vote.

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