A proposal to increase Nebraska's minimum wage to $9 an hour is dead for the year.
The bill stalled Monday night on a 20-20 vote in the Legislature. Opponents also defeated several amendments that would have exempted small and mid-sized businesses, and allowed companies to exclude employees who have worked for them for less than two years.
The measure would have raised the wage gradually, from $7.25 to $9.00 by 2017. Business groups opposed it, saying the legislation would have increased their labor costs and made them less competitive.
Lawmakers also rejected a proposal to raise the minimum wage for tipped workers, who currently make $2.13 an hour.