BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A renewed effort to boost the minimum wage paid to Louisiana workers is edging ahead in the state Senate, but with tougher hurdles to passage than prior wage hike bills that failed.The proposal by New Orleans Democratic Sen. Troy Carter would set Louisiana's minimum wage at $9 per hour, up from the $7.25-per-hour federal level.

The Senate labor committee voted 5-1 Thursday to send the measure to the full Senate.

Gov. John Bel Edwards has repeatedly sought a minimum wage increase. Lawmakers have rejected the idea annually, even though polls show it is popular.

Carter's proposing to let voters decide the wage hike's fate, but that takes two-thirds backing from the House and Senate. His minimum wage proposal last year failed to win a simple majority of senators' support.

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