Minimum Wage Increase

Wisconsin's minimum wage for adults will go up 80 cents today, jumping from $5.70 an hour to $6.50.

The state Department of Workforce estimates about 200,000 workers will see a raise.

The increases came after months of partisan bickering in Madison that eventually engulfed local officials as well.

Democratic Governor Doyle wanted to raise the minimum wage in 2004, but Republicans blocked the move. They said a higher minimum wage would hurt businesses.

Meanwhile, cities like Madison and La Crosse went their own way, adopting their own minimum wages. Doyle introduced a compromise package that raised the minimum wage and banned local governments from adopting their own wages.

Republicans worried the state would become a patchwork of minimum wages and agreed to the increase.

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