UPDATE: House passes big jump in Minn. minimum wage - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

UPDATE: House passes big jump in Minn. minimum wage

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - A bill that could eventually give Minnesota the nation's highest minimum wage has cleared the state House.

The House voted 68-62 on Friday to raise the floor rate in three steps. The current $6.15 minimum would rise to $8 at first and reach $9.50 in 2015. After that, it would go up yearly at the rate of inflation.

Most workers earn at least the federal hourly minimum of $7.25. Washington state currently has the country's highest minimum wage at $9.19 per hour.

Service industry officials say the bill could force them to shed workers to keep costs down.

A companion Senate bill is primed for a vote Wednesday. It calls for smaller increases until reaching $7.75 per hour, but it also would tie the wage to inflation going forward.

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Minnesota's lowest-wage workers are closing in on a government-mandated raise.

The state House planned to vote Friday on a bill dramatically boosting the minimum wage. The current $6.15 minimum would rise in steps until reaching $9.50 in 2015. After that, it would rise yearly at the rate of inflation.

Most workers earn at least the federal hourly minimum of $7.25.

Service industry officials say the bill could force them to shed workers to keep costs down.

The Democratic-sponsored measure would also cut the number of hours someone must work before automatically receiving overtime pay, taking it from 48 hours to 40.

A companion Senate bill has yet to receive a vote. It calls for a smaller series of increases, but it too would tie the wage to inflation going forward.

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