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Associated Press, Published May 03 2013

Minnesota House to vote on dramatic increase in minimum wage

ST. PAUL — 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.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.