Democrats have made increasing the state's minimum wage a core component of their campaign to keep the governor's mansion and pick up congressional seats across the country. But leading party lawmakers are struggling to find enough votes to pass the proposal and are considering proposing a less-contentious plan that would ask voters what they think of the idea before the Legislature tries to pass a politically risky bill. State Senator Kimberly Lightford is a Maywood Democrat who is sponsoring the proposal to hike the minimum wage from $8.25 to $10.65 per hour. She says putting a nonbinding resolution on the November ballot would be a "last resort." Some Democrats in swing suburban and downstate districts have joined Republicans in resisting the effort amid fears that it would hurt business growth.
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