Governor wants 'modest' minimum wage increase

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DES MOINES, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- Governor Branstad says he would support raising the state's minimum wage.

Gov. Terry Branstad attends the 2017 GOP Iowa Legislative Breakfast.

"I want to keep us competitive. I don't want anything that's going to destroy jobs, but I do think the present minimum wage has been in place for some time and it may be appropriate to modestly increase it over a period of time like some of our neighboring states have done," Branstad said.

The U.S. Department of Labor said "minimum wage increases have little to no negative effect on employment as shown in independent studies from economists across the country. Academic research also has shown that higher wages sharply reduce employee turnover which can reduce employment and training costs."

Right now, the hourly wage is $7.25. And House Republicans want to keep it that way. They have advanced a bill that would make the counties that have already raised their minimum wage go back to the state's minimum wage.

According to the Labor Department, when adjusted for inflation, the current minimum wage would need to be more than $8 per hour to equal its buying power of the early 1980s and more nearly $11 per hour to equal its buying power of the late 1960s.