Senate approves hike in minimum wage

Posted: Thursday, April 09, 2009

JUNEAU - Alaska's minimum wage would get a boost under a bill that has passed the state Senate.

Lawmakers voted 17-2 Wednesday to set the state rate to 50 cents above the federal minimum wage starting next year.

The state's rate would get a smaller bump this July - from $7.15 to $7.25 - to align it with a rising federal rate. The rate would then move to $7.75 an hour on January 1.

Sponsor Bill Wielechowski, an Anchorage Democrat, said the measure is a compromise that would help workers on the low end of the economic scale without hurting small businesses.

The bill now goes to the House.

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