A Democratic Representative from Cheyenne is sponsoring a bill in the state house that would increase the state's minimum wage from the current $5.15 per hour to $9.50.

House Bill 140, sponsored by Rep. Jim Byrd, would allow for a special "training wage" of $7.50 per hour to be paid to employees who have been working less than six months.

The bill would also allow for a $5.50 per hour wage for employees who make tips at their job. Byrd has put forward similar bills in the last few legislative sessions. In 2013 and 2014 he asked for a minimum wage increase to $9.00 per hour and last year he proposed the same amount as this year for an overall minimum wage.

None of the proposals so far come has close to being approved by lawmakers.

In arguing for his proposal last year he said the current minimum wage forces workers to have at least two jobs to try to scrape by. He also argues the current minimum hurts the tate economy because more skilled employees soon leave the state, and companies which value those workers don't want to locate here because of the lack of a skilled workforce.

Opponents of the proposal have argued that it would hurt small businesses and would increase unemployment because employers would be able to afford to hire people at the higher rate.

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