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LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska is one step closer to paying high school students a lower minimum wage.
Senators voted 31-13 Wednesday to advance a measure by Sen. Laura Ebke of Crete that would create a class of "young student workers," employees under 18 who would continue earning $8 an hour, or 85 percent of the federal minimum, even after Nebraska's minimum increases to $9 in 2016.
Ebke says the measure allows small-town grocers to afford to hire student workers.
But Democratic opponents ran the bill through the maximum four hours of debate before its second vote, calling it an incentive for students to drop out of school and an insult to voters who raised the standard minimum last November.
The bill must survive a third vote to pass.
The bill is LB599.
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