CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A measure that would have increased the minimum wage in Wyoming has died on the floor of the state House of Representatives.

House Bill 273, sponsored by House Minority Leader Cathy Connolly, of Laramie, failed on its first reading by a 36-23 vote Monday.

In its original form, the bill would have increased the state's minimum wage to $8.50 an hour. While state law sets the minimum wage at $5.15 an hour, the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour supersedes the state rate for the vast majority of workplaces.

Connolly argued that raising the state's minimum wage would help restore the dignity of work for those struggling to get by.

But opponents say government should let the free market decide rates of pay.

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