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Bill would make California's minimum wage among nation's highest

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - California's Legislature has passed a bill that would increase the state's minimum wage to $10 an hour within three years, making it one of the highest rates in the nation.

Washington state currently has the top minimum wage at $9.19 an hour, an amount that is pegged to rise with inflation. Some cities, including San Francisco, have slightly higher minimum wages.

The state Senate approved AB10 on a 26-11 vote and the Assembly followed hours later on a 55-25 vote, both largely along party lines. Gov. Jerry Brown indicated earlier this week that he would sign the bill, calling it an overdue piece of legislation that would help working-class families.

The bill would gradually raise California's minimum wage from the current $8 an hour to $10 by 2016.

It would be the first increase in the state's minimum wage in six years. It comes amid a national debate over whether it is fair to pay fast-food workers, retail clerks and others wages so low that they often have to work second or third jobs.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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