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Lawmakers reach deal to hike minimum wage to $9.50

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- Minnesota's minimum wage would rise to $9.50 per hour within a few years and continue going up unless a governor's administration applied the brakes.

That's the outline of a deal announced Monday between leaders of the House and Senate. It could move through both Democratic-led chambers this week.

Minnesota's current minimum is $6.15 for large employers, though most workers qualify for a higher federal minimum. Minnesota's base rate hasn't gone up since 2005.

Lawmakers had generally agreed to hit the $9.50 mark in a series of steps beginning this summer. But House leaders insisted on raises tied to inflation starting in 2017. Top senators said they couldn't muster support for purely automatic increases.

By giving the governor veto power, future raises could be withheld if economic trouble hits.

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