It seems that the debate over increases to minimum wages around the country has been in the news now for longer than one can imagine, and that may very well be the case! The question of the minimum wage was first raised most recently by President Obama in his 2013 state of the union address just after he was reelected in 2012. Since that time, when he asked Congress to raise the minimum to $9.00 an hour, a large number of states have visited the issue with most of those imposing some sort of increase. The state of Connecticut, the first to raise their minimum wage to $10.10 an hour back in 2014, is now, only 3 years later, looking to raise it again – this time to $15 per hour! Not to be outdone, Connecticut’s neighbor to the north, Massachusetts has several bills pending that would bump the Bay State minimum (last raised to $11 just last month) to $15/hour by 2021. On the more positive side of the ledger for small businesses, a federal court in Alabama has dismissed a lawsuit challenging the state law prohibiting the city of Birmingham from establishing its own minimum wage. The challenge was brought claiming that the pre-emption was based on “racial animus” and therefore violated the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution. The court did not buy the argument. In the state of Maine, Governor Paul LePage has made it clear that he hopes to amend the voter-approved minimum wage hike that just became effective this week. Out in the state of Wyoming, a proposal to increase the minimum wage to $9.40 an hour was defeated by a 2-to-1 margin (40 – 20). The state minimum is $5.15, but the federal minimum of $7.25 applies in most cases.