Minnesota is moving towards its first minimum wage hike since 2005.
The House Ways and Means Committee planned Monday to advance a bill that would bump the state's floor wage in three steps until it hits $9.50 per hour in 2015. After that, wages would increase according to inflation. A floor vote is likely by Friday.
The minimum wage in Minnesota law is currently $6.15 per hour, but many workers are paid the higher federal minimum of $7.25 per hour. Minnesota hasn't raised its minimum wage since 2005.
Rep. Ryan Winkler, a Golden Valley Democrat, says his bill will help Minnesotans get by and inject more money into the economy. Republicans say it would harm small businesses, causing layoffs and higher prices.
State senators are considering a smaller increase.