The U.S. Senate could within the next few weeks take up a proposal to phase-in an increase of the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour. And U.S. Senator Carl Levin of Michigan believes there’s a chance it could happen. This week, a group of 75 economists backed the idea, saying it will help the economy. Some studies have shown a negative effect on jobs, but other studies show just the opposite. Under the current proposal, the minimum wage would increase from today’s $7.25 per hour to $8.20 the first year, to $9.15 the second and to $10.10 the third year. Levin believes there’s a growing realization that it will have a positive effect on the economy.