House Approves Higher Minimum Wage

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) _ The Kansas House approves a bill to raise the state's lowest-in-the-nation minimum wage.

Wednesday's vote was 104-21. The Senate passed the measure earlier but must consider changes made by the House before the bill can go to Gov. Kathleen Sebelius.

The Kansas minimum wage is now $2.65 an hour. The legislation would raise it to $7.25 an hour next January.

An estimated 17,000 to 20,000 workers are covered by the Kansas minimum wage. Most Kansas workers are covered by the federal minimum wage, which is rising in July to $7.25 an hour from the current $6.55.

The U.S. Labor Department says 45 states have their own minimum wage. Just a half-dozen, including Kansas, set the wage below the federal level.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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