By MELINDA DESLATTE
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Louisiana won't be joining 29 other states in paying a minimum wage higher than the federally-set rate.
The Senate on Tuesday refused to move from the $7.25-per-hour federal level to $8.50 over two years.
Seventeen senators voted for the bill by New Orleans Sen. Troy Carter, a Democrat. Twenty-one senators opposed it.
Carter said the increase was modest, aimed at helping people whose wages have stagnated as living costs escalated.
No one spoke against the proposal during debate, but the measure was opposed by business groups.
It was the third consecutive year of failure for a bill sought by Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards.
Senators also rejected a proposal pushed by Edwards that would have extended an equal pay law for state agencies to cover businesses that get state contracts.