A push to gradually boost Nebraska's minimum wage to $9 an hour fell apart in the legislature Monday night. It died for the year on a 20-20 vote.
The proposal would have phased-in hikes to the $9 target by 2017. It’s currently $7.25, the national minimum.
Critics said the hike would have hurt small business.
Senator Jeremy Nordquist said that’s why they proposed exemptions.
He said, "This is an opportunity for us to take leadership. To say look, we have one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, we know Nebraskans are working their tails off and they should, with that hard work, be able to support their families."
The lawmakers also shot down a proposal to boost the minimum wage for tipped workers, who currently make $2.13 an hour.