More money today for those making the least. The federal minimum wage today goes up for the first time in ten years, jumping $0.70 to $5.85 an hour.
Colorado's minimum wage is already $1 over the federal level, at $6.85
It's the first of three $0.70 increases that will hike the minimum wage to $7.25 an hour by the summer of 2009.
The government says more than 1.5 million American workers made the old minimum wage of $5.15 cents an hour or less last year.
The increase is one of the few major legislative successes of the new Democratic-controlled Congress. President Bush signed the measure into law after the Democrats removed a provision calling for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.
The bill also contains nearly $5 billion worth of tax relief for small businesses to help them hire new workers. The relief will also help offset the cost of the higher wage.
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