Minn. House passes steep bump to 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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