State Senator hopes to increase SC minimum wage

There's a bill before South Carolina legislators to raise the minimum wage by one dollar.

Rachael Abels, 19, has been earning just .25 cents above minimum wage for the past two years.

"Because I make $7.50, I don't make enough to move out and live on my own. Paycheck to paycheck, it would be really hard to live like that," said Abels.

But Abels' employer could be required to pay her $8.25 an hour if a bill before the South Carolina legislature passes.

State Senator John Scott of Richland introduced the bill.

He says that one dollar an hour more would make a huge difference.

"A 40 hour work week, over 52 weeks would constitute to $2,080," said Senator Scott.

Senator Scott says the increase would get more people off government programs and create more full-time jobs.

"Yeah, no question, and it would create a stability within the work force," said Scott.

Abels says that increase would help her pay her car and phone bills.

"I would love that. It would definitely be a lot easier to manage my life and be able to move out of my house for sure and get my own place," said Abels.

We asked Senator Scott about increased cost for employers that could be passed on to the consumer.

"Yeah it will if those businesses are trying to operate and in fact maintain the same profit level. That means it's passed on to the consumer, but keep in mind some of the same consumers are the ones who are getting the dollar increase," said Senator Scott.

This bill would greatly impact the Grand Strand area and tourism jobs.

The head of the Myrtle Beach Area Hospitality Association said the organization is not in a position to comment on how the bill would impact the area.

If the federal government decides to raise the minimum wage to $10.10, South Carolina would have to adopt that.