The Washington State Senate Monday will hear testimony on a bill that would raise the state's minimum wage (already the highest in the nation) to $12-per-hour, in $.50 increments over the next five years.

Already sitting at $9.47 per-hour, this bill is the brainchild of the Democrat-contolled House of Representatives, who've already approved such a measure.

The bill would raise the wage $.50 per year, starting in 2016, with the wage arriving at $12.00 by 2020.

Critics say it's a thinly veiled attempt to get closer to the controversial $15 wage already adopted by the City of Seattle, and the City of SeaTac.  Chances are, the Senate will either not take action on the measure, or if it comes to a vote, it would likely be defeated.

In Seattle, several dozen restaurants have already closed or are preparing to do so because they won't be able to absorb the increased labor costs down the road. Same for San Francisco, where the $15 wage went into effect months earlier.  According to the excellent political website HotAir.com, large companies are already prepping for the future:

"Bigger companies who can absorb the financial hit from implementing new technology have already been preparing for these changes. McDonald’s has been experimenting with point of sale automation for taking orders and Applebee’s rolled out smart tablets at tables in multiple locations last year."

And yet, unions, labor leaders and many politicians in our state turn a blind eye and deaf ear to these growing closures and financial issues caused by increased minimum wage costs.  As HotAir bluntly pointed out, $15 minimum wage sounds great - until it costs you your job. Then your pay becomes $15 times zero!