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Hidalgo-County-SealHidalgo County Commissioners Court is considering a request made by President Barack Obama to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 for anyone earning less than that amount.

The minimum wage received by county employees is $7.25 an hour. While the county employs between 3,800 and 4,000 employees, only 2.5 percent, or 85, earn less than the $10.10 recommended by President Obama for minimum wage. The court was told it would take about $137,000 to bring those 85 personnel up to the minimum wage proposed by the President.

Commissioner Hector “Tito” Palacios said the county might have to streamline and cut down on a few employees, but he thought “raising salaries for those earning less that $10.10 could be done.” He added the funds might have to come from cutting back on the number of employees the county has.

Commissioner Joel Palacios agreed with him, saying, “We can find the money somewhere.”

There was no discussion of an overall raise for all employees. The only consideration was for those who earn below the $10.10 minimum level.

In other action, Emilio De Los Santos, director of Hidalgo County Veterans Services, reported to commissioners on the state of the Hidalgo County services. While there are 35,000 to 40,000 veterans living in Hidalgo County, only 125 to 160 veterans receive services each month.

Due to the shortage of doctors, there are 800 to 1,200 patients assigned to each doctor and some patients wait as long as 14 days to see a doctor.

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