A plan to increase wages for home- and community-based workers who care for elderly and disabled Minnesotans was approved by a House committee.

The Ways and Means Committee approved an amendment from Rep. Tom Huntley, DFL-Duluth. It raised the proposed increase from 4 to 5 percent, costing an additional $16 million, Huntley said.

A spokesman for the House DFL caucus said caregivers suffered a 1.7 pct cut in 2011. In 2013, the spokesman said, the Legislature "bought back" that cut and added on a 1 percent increase. This new increase is on top of that, resulting in a total 7.7 pct increase since the previous budget, he said.

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