Calif. Raises Minimum Wage to $8

Sacramento, Calif., Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Democratic leaders have agreed to lift the minimum wage in California from $6.75 an hour to $8. The hike, the first since early 2004, will effect the more than 1 million Californians who earn minimum wage and will allow them to receive a nearly 20% pay increase over the next year and a half.

Workers will get a 75? increase Jan. 1 and an additional 50? on Jan. 1, 2008.

The jump to $7.50 on New Year's Day will make California's minimum wage the nation's fourth-highest, following Washington, Oregon and Connecticut. The federal minimum wage is $5.15 an hour.

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