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House passes minimum wage bill, Dayton just needs to sign

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The Minnesota House voted to pass a bill that would raise minimum wage and now all it needs is Gov. Mark Dayton's signature to become law.

The law will be fully phased in by 2016. By then, most Minnesota businesses will have to pay their workers at least $9.50 an hour, the Pioneer Press says.

Labor, religious and nonprofit groups had urged the wage increase, while restaurant and business groups said it would force them to lay off workers and raise prices.

Currently, Minnesota’s minimum wage is $6.15 per hour, one of the nation’s lowest, although most larger businesses must pay the federal standard of $7.25. An increase to $9.50 would make Minnesota one of the highest minimum-wage states.

Over 357,000 workers will see a raise when the bill is fully implemented, according to a press release from the Minnesota Legislature.

Here's a look at the bill:

– $9.50 minimum wage for businesses with gross sales over $500,000 in 2016. $8 in August 2014 and $9 in August 2015.
– $7.75 minimum wage for businesses under $500,000 in gross sales in 2016. $6.50 in August 2014 and $7.25 in August 2015.
– The $7.75 minimum wage rate would also apply for large businesses in the following circumstances: 90 day training wage for 18 and 19 year olds, all 16- and 17-year-old employees working under a J-1 visa.
– Starting in 2018, all wages would increase each year on Jan. 1 by inflation measured by the implicit price deflator capped at 2.5 percent.
– Indexed increase could be suspended for one year if there's a substantial downturn in the economy, pending a public hearing and public comment period.

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