Bryant Attempts to Block Minimum Wage Increases

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Cities and counties will be barred from raising minimum wages in their localities, if Gov. Phil Bryant approves.

The state Senate gave final approval Friday to a bill that bars localities from raising the minimum wage on their own, by a vote of 42-10.

Sen. Tony Smith, a Picayune Republican who owns a barbecue restaurant, says business profits would be harmed if localities required minimum pay higher than the federal floor of $7.25 an hour. The rate has been set higher than that by 19 states. Smith says more than 100 localities nationwide have also increased minimums.

No Mississippi city or county has raised the minimum wage. Opponents of the bill say cities and counties should have that option, and that it might be an effective way to fight poverty.