Former Democratic vice presidential nominee John Edwards wants Michigan lawmakers to increase the minimum wage in the state.
The former North Carolina senator appeared at a rally on the Capitol steps Wednesday. He says raising the minimum wage will help reduce the number of people living in poverty.
Democrats in the House and Senate introduced a package of bills to raise the minimum wage from $5.15 cents to $7.15 over the next two years. They want to gradually increase the rate, going up by 75 cents on July 1. It would go up again by 75 cents in January 2006 and another 50 cents in January 2007.
Republican legislative leaders have been unwilling to take up the legislation because they are worried it will hurt the state's already struggling economy.