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House committee approves higher minimum wage; floor vote this week

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The Minnesota House will take up a bill to raise the state's minimum wage, now that the measure has cleared its final committee.

The Ways and Means Committee approved a bill that would raise the existing wage of $6.15 an hour in three stages until it reached $9.50 in 2015. After that, future increases based on the inflation rate would be automatic.

MPR notes that $9.50 is nearly a dollar an hour less than House DFLers had originally proposed. Some Republicans still hope to include a provision for a lower wage that would apply to workers who also earn tips. That's something the state's restaurant industry has been lobbying for.

The full House is expected to expected to vote on the bill by the end of the week. The Associated Press reports it also increases the family leave time employers must provide to new parents from six weeks to 12. And it sets 40 hours as the standard work week, beyond which hourly employees must be paid overtime. Some businesses now use 48 as the threshold.

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