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Tom Harkin

Washington state senator uses new perch to push for more overtime pay

WASHINGTON With only 8 percent of salaried workers currently covered by overtime rules, Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., says it's time for the federal government to intervene. After becoming the top Democrat on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee in January, Murray is among the leading backers of a White House plan to expand overtime pay for nearly 5 million Americans. It could mean raises for 90,000 workers in her home state. Murray faces resistance from retailers who fear that higher pay would force them to cut jobs and reduce work hours. She counters that the overtime rules are outdated, doing little to help workers who are routinely assigned to longer hours. ...