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Nineteen states have increased their minimum wage. Residents of three more and the nation’s capital can expect hikes later on this year.
A year ago, the White House and Democratic lawmakers embarked on a campaign to make the minimum wage a defining issue in the 2014 elections. And although that didn’t pan out exactly as planned at the federal level, nearly half the states took action on the issue.
Where wages are increasing
In three states—Arkansas, Nebraska and South Dakota—voters approved ballot measures in November to increase the minimum wage, effective Jan. 1, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Alaska voters passed an initiative raising the minimum wage in the state to begin Jan. 1. But the pay increase isn’t effective until 90 days after the election results are certified, Feb. 24.
Meanwhile, legislatures in seven states—Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont and West Virginia—approved laws boosting the minimum wage. Those laws go into effect today.
Though Delaware and Minnesota’s state lawmakers voted to raise the minimum wage, those increases won’t begin until June and August, respectively. The District of Columbia will see a minimum wage hike beginning July 1.
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New York raised its minimum wage to $8.75 an hour beginning and will see another increase to $9 an hour beginning Dec. 31, 2015.
Nine other states will see increases in their minimum wages as state laws mandate automatic increases to make up for rising prices. Those states are: Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon and Washington.
Among states raising the minimum wage, Washington state will boast the highest at $9.47 an hour–but only until July 1, when the District of Columbia will have the highest in the nation at $10.50 an hour.
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Source: The Daily Signal.