SC bill proposals would raise minimum wage, repeal right to work law

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – Proposals to raise the minimum wage in South Carolina and repeal an anti-union law have virtually no chance of passing in the Republican-dominated Legislature.

But Democrats hope to spark a debate as the nation’s attention turns to the first-in-the-South primary state.

Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter says it’s time to discuss living wages in a state that ranks 46th in child poverty, 48th in per capita income and last in union membership.

One bill would set the state’s minimum wage at $10.10 an hour.

South Carolina is among 21 states where employers can pay $7.25 an hour, the federal minimum.

The other bill would repeal the state’s right-to-work status.

The law means unions can’t force employees across an entire worksite to pay membership dues.

Republicans contend the bills would hurt the economy.

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