Our views: Senate should pass minimum wage bill

What do Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee and Alabama have in common, aside from their relationship to the Mason-D ixon Line?

Answer: They are the only five states in the union without a minimum wage. ...

It was 10 years ago that the minimum wage was raised to its present level, a span of time dictated by the fact that over the years the argument for and against a minimum wage has remained unchanged. ...

The House of Representatives has approved a new minimum wage bill which would raise the rate to $7.25 an hour in three steps over 26 months.

The Senate is expected to marry the bill with some tax issues favorable to Republican interests and the conventional wisdom is now that President Bush will sign it into law.

In the best of worlds, the marketplace would determine all wages. But this isn't the best of all worlds. There is plenty of evidence that the common working man and woman are underpaid at most levels below the CEO.

And it makes no sense to have a minimum wage that is 10 years out of date.

The bill should be passed and signed into law.

The above editorial excerpt is from The News-Press, Fort Myers, Fla.