TTU students expect to benefit from minimum wage increase - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

TTU students expect to benefit from minimum wage increase

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Lauren Shulman makes $10.10 an hour in Austin Lauren Shulman makes $10.10 an hour in Austin
Ben Iloanya makes $7.25 at his current job Ben Iloanya makes $7.25 at his current job
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -

President Obama was in Connecticut Wednesday asking Congress to pass a bill that would increase the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour.

As the House and Senate continue to debate what's best for the country, workers like Ben Iloanya hope something will be done.

"Right now I'm making $7.25 an hour so the jump up to $10.10 would be nice," he said. "I work 10 hours a week so that's $100 a week."

Ben is a student at Texas Tech. He works to pay for groceries and normal college expenses such as textbooks.

"Me personally, I want to start eating healthier so...enough with the fast food. I would probably start buying more veggies and fruits. Fruits are getting pretty expensive if you ask me," he said.

Fellow Tech student Lauren Shulman's job pays $10 an hour back home in Austin. She says that wage helps her get through the rest of the year.

"I always end up saving all my money when I'm back home because I come back up to school here and I don't work during the school year. I'm not working right now, so every penny that I can make during the summer is definitely worth it," she said.

But not everyone is behind the proposal. On Feb. 18 the Congressional Budget Office said raising the minimum wage to $10.10 in three steps would "reduce employment nationally by about 500,000 workers," and there is some worry that it will hurt the chance of younger people getting jobs.

Freshman Bri Ollre disagrees.

"It will help people try to grow and get more money so they can try and do more things. Maybe they have children to support, maybe they are getting themselves through college. I think it would help for it to be raised."

Iloanya doesn't think an increase in the minimum wage will hurt his chances in the job market.

"I don't really see that. I feel like this time in my life I'm well-rounded and I can present myself pretty well," he said.

That same CBO report says an increase would lift 900,000 people out of poverty and add $31 billion to the earnings of low wage Americans. But of course, the full effect won't be known unless Congress acts.

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