ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) _ Republican lawmakers are pushing to allow employers to pay their tipped workers lower wages by counting tips in their wages.

The so-called tip credit is a familiar proposal in Minnesota. But the gradual increase of the minimum wage in Minneapolis to $15 hourly by 2022 has increased the pressure at the Legislature. St. Paul is considering a similar increase.

A House GOP committee debated a measure on Monday that would cap tipped workers' wages at its current rate of $9.65 hourly. But that only takes effect if they make an average of $14 hourly once tips are counted.

Supporters of that proposal say the higher wages could lead to more automated service at restaurants and bars. But opponents say they need to protect workers' wages.

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