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$10 minimum wage approved by California Legislature

Restaurant employees serve customers in this undated file photo.

September 13, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Gov. Jerry Brown is expected to sign a bill that would raise the state's minimum wage to make it one of the highest rates in the nation.

The state Senate on Thursday approved AB10 on a 26-11 vote and the Assembly followed hours later on a 51-25 vote, both largely along party lines. The bill would raise the minimum from $8 to $10 dollars an hour within three years.

It marks the first increase in the state's minimum wage in six years. Brown has said the bill is an overdue piece of legislation that would help working-class families.

This 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.

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 Associated Press contributed to this report.