MARCH 28, 2006 - Posted at 7:57 a.m. CST
LITTLE ROCK, AR - An alternative minimum wage proposal has surfaced that would set the hourly wage in Arkansas at $6.25, rather than $6.15 as set out in a proposed constitutional amendment. Legislative leaders Benny Petrus and Jack Critcher say the altermative was reached with supporters of the proposed amendment. They say legislators could approve the alternative during a special session, which the governor is expected to call soon. But unlike the proposed amendment, the alternative would not be adjusted automatically for inflation.
Currently, the minimum wage in Arkansas is $5.15 an hour.
The legislators say they hope to have draft legislation available today, and gather enough signatures to put the proposal on the special session call by the end of this week. If approved, the proposed increase would go into effect October 1.
Meanwhile, a coalition of church and community groups are continuing to gather signatures to put the proposed amendment on the November 7 ballot in case legislators don't approve the alternative.