OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Washington state lawmakers have shelved a series of bills that would lower wages at the bottom of the income scale in an effort to spur private-sector hiring.

The five Republican-sponsored bills failed to come up for a House committee vote Tuesday ahead of a key deadline.

Rep. Cary Condotta, R-East Wenatchee, said his goal in sponsoring the bills was to encourage employers to hire more workers, particularly in struggling areas of eastern Washington.

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