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Senate votes to boost Minnesota's minimum wage

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The Minnesota Senate voted 39-28 to pass a bill that gives minimum wage earners a pay hike, the Star Tribune reports.

The measure brings the wage up to $7.75 an hour by 2015. However, House lawmakers approved a plan last week to raise the state's hourly rate to $9.50 an hour by 2015.

"Where I live, there are a lot of people who are making the minimum wage and they’re doing that to make ends meet," Sen. Jeff Hayden, DFL-Minneapolis told the newspaper.

Gov. Mark Dayton said Wednesday that he preferred the House version, but added the Senate's measure would be "better than nothing," according to the Star Tribune.

Both bills would make future increases automatic based on the inflation rate, Forum Communications reports. A conference committee will have to work out the differences.

Some small business owners are concerned the bump in minimum wage will force them to make some difficult decisions.

"The pie is only so big, so if you cut a bigger piece of it and give it to that starting-out employee, who may only be around for 30 or 60 days, that's going to take away from that longer-term, more loyal, committed, higher-performing employee," Rick Dehn of Dehn Oil told KARE 11. "This is a penny business. It could potentially result in higher gas prices, higher prices of milk and bread and goods that we sell inside the store.

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