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Some Wisconsinites getting first look at effects of raising minimum wage

STILLWATER, MN (WTAQ) - Western Wisconsin residents who do business in Stillwater Minnesota are getting a taste of what might happen if the Badger State raises its minimum wage.

Minnesota raised its minimum by 75 cents an hour last week -- and the Oasis Cafe in Stillwater responded by charging a special fee of 35 cents per meal.

Owner Craig Beemer figures it would cost him $10,000 more each year to pay his servers a minimum that's now $8 an hour in Minnesota.

Some customers want others to boycott the restaurant over its "minimum wage fee," but Beemer says he's only trying to keep his employees working.

In Wisconsin, Democrats at both the state and federal levels are pushing for a $10.10 an hour minimum wage.

Majority state Republicans have refused to budge, while business interests say the higher wage could eliminate thousands of lower wage jobs.

Democrats dispute that, and the Raise Wisconsin coalition is attempting to put heat on next year's Legislature by trying to get all 72 counties to hold November referendums on a minimum wage hike.

In the recent Marquette Law School poll, 56 percent of Wisconsin registered voters supported an increase -- but that was down from 63 percent in March.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)