Business owners and employees alike will be watching very closely as the Colorado Legislature considers a gradual increase in the state's minimum wage.

KREX TV reports Rep. Dominick Moreno, of Commerce City, presented his legislation to his colleagues on Thursday that would raise the state's minimum wage to $12.50 by the year 2020, up from the current $8.23. The proposal calls for a $1 increase each year.

The proposal is unlikely to have the support of the legislature, but Moreno hopes the discussion can at least help get the issue on the 2016 ballot.

Minimum wage is always a sticky issue featuring unskilled labors trying to make a living and pay their bills, while business owners try to achieve a profitable business by keeping operating expenses down by paying the lowest wage possible.

I see both sides of the issue. I truly feel bad for those individuals -- single mothers, for example -- working hard to provide for their family for a minimum wage.

At the same time, I understand that we pay thousands of dollars for a college education so we can earn a decent and manageable wage. Raising the minimum wage too much de-values higher education.

Still, laborers of any education level deserve a decent wage

For business owners in a struggling economy, I get it. It's all about profits and losses, and payroll is one of the expenses that has to be managed and balanced with the success of the business or lack thereof.

I believe there are instances where business owners are paying their employees the best they realistically can and there are some instances where business owners are taking advantage of their low-paid employees and purposely low-balling their helpless employees.

I'm not sure what the answer is, but the minimum wage issue is not going to go away. There needs to be a discussion about it, rather than ignoring it and pretending a problem doesn't exist. What do you think?

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