Nebraska student minimum wage bill wins first-round approval

 Posted By: KLKN Newsroom

       LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) _ Nebraska high school students could receive a lower minimum wage than other workers next year under a bill advanced by lawmakers.

        Senators gave the measure first-round approval Wednesday with a 32-11 vote. The proposal by Sen. Laura Ebke of Crete would allow for workers under 18 years old to be paid $8 per hour while still in school.

        The bill was introduced after small-town grocery stores raised concerns that the voter-approved $9 wage could run them out of business when it goes into effect next year.

        Opponents say the measure creates an incentive for teenagers to drop out of school to qualify for higher wages. Omaha Sen. Jeremy Nordquist called the measure an insult to Nebraskans who voted in November to raise the minimum wage.