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Minimum wage jumps in 20 states, but remains unchanged in Virginia

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Posted at 6:25 PM, Dec 31, 2014
and last updated 2014-12-31 18:25:49-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- The federal minimum wage will increase in 20 states plus the District of Columbia Jan. 1.

According to economists, that is the biggest increase in modern history with the average wage earner now receiving around $8 an hour.

However, the minumim wage in Virginia will remain $7.25 an hour.

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"I get mad, I wish I could live in other states," Treliese Freeman, a cashier who makes minimum wage, told CBS 6.

So is there any movement on the issue here in Virginia? While Democratic lawmakers have proposed a bill to increase the minimum wage to $10.10 by 2017. However, most consider that initiative it a long shot.

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe signified to WTOP radio that the best thing that can be done for minimum wage earners is expand Medicaid. That also is considered a long shot during the upcoming session of the General Assembly.

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Guadalupe Ramirez, a business owner in Carytown, said increasing the minimum wage would "probably" put her store out of business.

"We would have to mark the items up," Ramirez said.

Ramirez said she already pays her employees $8 an hour. She said an increase would force further changes to her store, which relies on goods from other countries.

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