2014-09-15T093649Z_2_LYNXMPEA8E045_RTROPTP_2_USA-POLITICS

A minimum-wage hike finds hope in U.S. heartland

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden shares a laugh with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Illinois Governor Pat Quinn after a round table discussion with small business owners in ChicagoBy Andy Sullivan WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama’s push to raise the minimum wage, which has largely found success in liberal-leaning coastal states to date, could make headway in the conservative heartland in the November elections. Voters in the Republican-controlled states of Alaska, Arkansas, Nebraska and South Dakota will consider ballot initiatives in November that would raise the minimum wage above the national rate of $7.25 per hour. A favorable outcome could also turn up the heat on Congress to raise the national rate. Congress last voted to raise the national wage in 2007 following successful ballot initiatives in Arizona, Colorado, Missouri, Montana, Nevada and Ohio.

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