- Associated Press - Thursday, February 12, 2015

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa Democrats have introduced a bill that would raise Iowa’s minimum wage to a level they say is lower than they’d like, but maybe one that would garner more Republican support.

Democratic leaders said Thursday the bill would raise the state’s minimum wage from $7.25 to $8.75. It would increase gradually by 2016.

Some Democrats had expressed support earlier in the session for a bill that would have raised the minimum wage gradually to $10.10. Senate President Pam Jochum, a Democrat from Dubuque, said the new bill will still address people who work minimum wage jobs and have families to support.

House Speaker Kraig Paulsen, a Hiawatha Republican, declined to comment on the bill’s chances. Paulsen said he wants to focus on training for higher-paying jobs.

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