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Senate OKs minimum wage, tax bill


WASHINGTON--The Senate has approved a minimum wage and tax measure that would eliminate the tax deductibility of punitive damage awards.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mt., included the punitive damage provision as part of the measure designed to reduce the taxes of small businesses faced with having to pay more to minimum-wage-earning employees. The small business tax relief bill was added to the larger minimum wage bill late last month.

The House version of the minimum wage increase bill does not contain the punitive damage provision, and differences between the two versions eventually will have to be ironed out by a conference committee.