- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 25, 2014

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Unions are ramping up pressure on Minnesota lawmakers to strike a deal on the minimum wage.

A House-Senate conference committee held its first public session since early March. The room was packed Tuesday with public employee union members, who also held a rally about the minimum wage and other priorities. They are working to convince Democratic lawmakers, who control both chambers, to break a logjam on the wage issue.

There seems to be consensus about raising the state’s minimum wage from $6.15 per hour to $9.50 per hour. How fast remains a point of discussion. There’s also dispute about whether to automatically hike the wage in future years to account for inflation.

Senate Democrats have said they lack the votes to pass a bill with an automatic bump later on.

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