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Rep. Patricia Todd, D-Birmingham, sponsor of a bill to raise the state minimum wage to $7.25 an hour, at a rally in support of the legislation Tuesday in Montgomery.
AP photo by Rob Carr
Rep. Patricia Todd, D-Birmingham, sponsor of a bill to raise the state minimum wage to $7.25 an hour, at a rally in support of the legislation Tuesday in Montgomery.

Rally backs bill to raise minimum wage

MONTGOMERY (AP) — Groups representing the poor and union workers rallied on the Statehouse steps Tuesday in support of legislation that would boost the paychecks of an estimated 350,000 Alabamians by raising the minimum wage in the state to $7.25 per hour.

The legislation's sponsor, Rep. Patricia Todd, D-Birmingham, said Congress hasn't raised the national minimum wage of $5.15 an hour in 10 years, and it's time for the Alabama Legislature to "give the working people a long-deserved raise."

Stewart Burkhalter, president of the Alabama AFL-CIO, said he doesn't know of any of his members who are paid the minimum wage, but union members showed up at the rally Tuesday to support those on the bottom of the pay scale.

"A minimum wage raise is overdue," he said.

Todd's bill is scheduled for consideration Wednesday by the House Commerce Committee.

The freshman lawmaker urged about 50 supporters at the rally to call legislators about the bill, but Burkhalter said later it's an uphill fight.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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