WASHINGTON — The minimum wage rose 70 cents to $5.85 an hour last week. Are all your employees receiving the proper hourly rate? If adjusting your laundry’s pay rate seems unusual, you aren’t to blame. It’s been 10 years since the minimum wage was raised 40 cents to $5.15 an hour.New legislation signed by the president in May increases the minimum wage 70 cents each summer until 2009, when all minimum wage jobs will pay no less than $7.25 an hour. To make this new legislation more acceptable to business owners, there is $4.84 billion in tax relief for small businesses to help them hire new workers and offset any cost associated with an increase in the minimum wage.However, it’s possible that the minimum wage issue isn’t finished yet. Some democratic presidential candidates are making further increases in the minimum wage a campaign issue.Despite all the rumblings over the new minimum wage legislation, it may not have as much impact as some believe on the coin laundry industry. First, more than two dozen states and the District of Columbia already have minimum wages higher than the federal level. In addition, a whopping 85% of survey respondents to a recent Wire survey pay their employees more than their state’s minimum wage or the federal minimum wage. Only 30% percent of survey respondents say the minimum wage hike will have a major effect on business. Nearly 80% of respondents believe a laundry owner has to pay more than the minimum wage to attract quality employees.