Minimum Wage Increase

Millions of people in the U.S. could receive a pay raise.

The U.S. House of Representatives has just voted to raise the minimum wage by more than two dollars.

Now, the bill heads to the Senate and then President Bush.

Small businesses are worried an increase could hurt them, while most workers are keeping their fingers crossed this bill will pass.

Democrats are pushing for the first minimum wage increase since 1997.

Hourly pay would raise from $5.15 to $7.25 over a 26 month time frame.

For most employees, this sounds too good to be true.

"I think it would give an incentive to work harder and go for your goals, I do, it  would for me anyways," says Brenda Beard, an employee in favor of the increase.

"Well I think it's really hard with cost of living up like it is right now, I think there's a lot of people that can't make it on that particular wage they have right now," says Kathy Cochran, an employe also in favor of a higher pay.

Surprisingly not all employees feel the minimum wage increase would help.

"I think it would be ok for the bigger companies but I don't think it's going to help the little companies like my boss's, I think it's going to hurt her," says Debbie Oliver, an employee against the minimum wage increase.

Hurt small businesses like where Debbie works and others in the area.

"It's just starting out, maybe in two years things will change because it's supposed to be spanned over 26 months maybe I'll feel differently in two years, but right now it's not that appealing to me," says Shirley Bagley, owner of Beans N Things Bar-B-Que.

"Well it's kind of a domino effect, we would probably have to raise prices to cover that because the cost of utilities have gone up already so much this year and our cost of goods have gone up and so down the line it would affect everything," says Dorothy Clark, owner of Big Daddy's Bar-B-Que.

Now the Senate will vote on the bill and then end up with President Bush.

The President has said he is in favor of the bill as long as there are some tax breaks, but this bill does not include any right now.